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Sued former partner of governor wants court to seal records

A Broward County company headed by Gov. Jeb Bush's former business partner wants to seal records in a lawsuit accusing the firm of bribing Nigerian officials as part of a water pump sale.

The records could include any pretrial deposition given by Bush about his role in Bush-El Trading Corp., a company he once owned with J. David Eller. Eller's new company, Deerfield-based MWI Corp., is being sued in federal court.

Bush sold his share in the Bush-El to Eller for $648,250 when he first ran for governor in 1994 and has never given a full accounting of what he did for the company.

The U.S. Justice Department, a former employee and a whistleblower are suing MWI over a deal to sell water pumps to Nigeria.

The government contends that MWI funneled more than a third of $74.3-million in U.S. loans to a Nigerian agent working for the company. In turn, that agent and other company officials paid Nigerian government officials involved in buying MWI's pumps, the lawsuit states.

Bush-El was an affiliated company that promoted MWI's equipment overseas. Bush has said he was not involved in the Nigerian pump deal.