Why court issued arrest warrant for ExxonMobil boss Richard Laing

ExxonMobil Nigeria MD Richard Laing

The Federal High Court in Abuja has signed off on a warrant to arrest the managing director of ExxonMobil in Nigeria Richard Laing, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The EFCC said it had sought the warrant after Mr. Laing rebuffed three invitations to appear before investigators probing alleged procurement fraud involving a pipeline project.

Justice Okon Abang granted the EFCC’s bench warrant application on January 29, the agency said. It has not charged Exxon or others with wrongdoing, and its investigation is ongoing.

EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren told Reuters that the investigation is into the company, and not Laing personally.

“EFCC invited them in the course of the investigation but they have refused to honour the invitation, that is why we went to court to compel his appearance for investigation,” Mr Uwujaren said.

The EFCC said the investigation related to the alleged fraudulent creation of procurement orders worth more than $213 million as part of a pipelines project.

Laing was appointed managing director in August 2020.