An FCT Federal High Court on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for former oil minister Dan Etete and two others in relation to a $1.3 billion Malabu oil deal scandal.
Justice Abubakar Kutigi also issued an arrest warrant against two others (Munamuna Seidougha and Amaran Joseph) allegedly involved in the deal.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission lawyer Balance Sanga said the arrest warrant was a precursor for declaring Etete wanted before the country sought Interpol help in apprehending him.
“They have to come and face trial”, Sanga told Reuters.
Lawyers representing Etete in Italy did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The circumstances surrounding the award of the oilfield, OPL 245, is one of the oil industry’s biggest corruption scandals. It is the subject of an ongoing court case in Italy that has also ensnared figures from two of the sector’s biggest players, Shell and Eni.
The companies have denied wrongdoing.
Earlier this year, Nigeria successfully sought the extradition of former attorney general Mohammed Adoke from Dubai for allegedly receiving bribes to facilitate the deal.