A judge in Nigeria has ordered the arrest of three top officials of the U.S.-based drug company Pfizer Inc., saying they failed to honor an order to appear in court over a $2 billion suit the company is facing for a 1996 drug trial, court papers showed.

Judge Shehu Atiku, sitting in the northern city of Kano on Monday, said his ruling Nov. 6 that the officials of the Pfizer subsidiary in Nigeria should appear in court were not heeded at that resumed sitting.