The anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes C o m m i s s i o n (EFCC), at the weekend, advanced in the probe of ExxonMobil Managing Director in Nigeria, Mr. Richard Laing, over his alleged link with the $213 million pipeline procurement fraud in Nigeria.
The agency, New Telegraph gathered, was more emboldened by the recent issuance of arrest warrant for the ExxonMobil Nigeria chief. A Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier signed off on a warrant to arrest Laing over investigation relating to the alleged fraudulent creation of procurement orders worth more than $213 million as part of a pipeline project.
The warrant is to compel him to appear before anti-graft investigators, the EFCC said in a statement.
The EFCC said it sought the warrant after Mr. Laing rebuffed three invitations to appear before investigators probing alleged procurement fraud involving a pipelines project.
Justice Okon Abang granted the EFCC’s bench warrant application on January 29, the EFCC said, adding that it had not charged Exxon or others with wrongdoing but that its investigation was ongoing. EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren, told Reuters that the investigation was 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,” Uwujaren said.
A spokesman for Exxon declined to comment. Laing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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.