Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and his eldest daughter Isabel have been given eight days to appear before the country’s Supreme Court to answer to charges of nepotism, Daily Nation reports. The president is accused of unlawfully appointing his daughter as a non-executive director of the state-run oil company Sonangol in June.
“The Supreme Court has already cited the country’s president and his daughter Isabel dos Santos and told them to respond to our contestation,” the prosecution’s spokesman David Mendes told reporters.
The subpoena was in response to a case filed by 14 Angolan lawyers, accusing the president of nepotism and violating Angolan probity law, according to Reuters.
“The constitution says a public official should not nominate or allow nominations of his or her spouse or first degree relatives,” part of the petition reads.
Nepotism and Highhandedness
Isabel is currently ranked as the richest woman in Africa with a net worth of $3.2 billion, according to Forbes. Her assets include a 25 percent stake in one of the country’s largest mobile phone companies Unitel and another 25 percent stake in private bank Banco Internacional de Credito, according to the Daily Nation.
Following her appointment, Isabel announced plans to split the state energy giant into three units: one overseeing operations, another handling logistics, and the third managing concessions to international oil companies.
Political analysts in the country argue that her appointment is part of the president’s plan to make sure his family remains in power in the event he honors his pledge to step down in 2018.
However, some Angolans believe that President dos Santos is genuinely serious about bringing about change at the state-owned oil company.
Oil Rich Angola
Angola is the second-largest oil producer in Africa after Nigeria. The country’s impressive economic growth is largely driven by its oil sector, with oil production and supporting activities contributing about 45 percent of its GDP and more than 95 percent of its exports.
Its output of refined petroleum products and crude oil exports is about 1,000 barrels per day. The country also exports 1 million cubic meters of natural gas daily.