A federal court in Abuja has signed off on a warrant to arrest the head of oil major ExxonMobil in Nigeria to compel him to appear before anti-graft investigators, a statement for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said on Wednesday.

The EFCC said it had sought the warrant after Richard Laing, the managing director of ExxonMobil Nigeria, rebuffed three invitations to appear before investigators probing alleged procurement fraud involving a pipelines project.

The anti-graft agency via Twitter revealed that Justice Okon Abang granted its application on January 29 for a bench warrant to arrest the managing director of the international oil company.

The commission is investigating alleged procurement fraud in the major integrity pipelines project involving Mobile Producing Nigeria as the contracting company, Suffolk Petroleum Services Limited as the main contractor, Saipem Contracting Nigeria, Global Offshore Limited and Van Ord as sub-contractor to SPSL.

At issue is the alleged fraudulent creation of change orders worth over $213million.