Posted by Paschal Njoku | 23 August 2019 | 1,545 times
Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister for Justice, on Thursday, vowed that the Federal Government would fish out and prosecute those involved in the award of the contract that led to the award of $9billion against the Federal Republic of Nigeria by a British Court.
The Court had on August 16, 2019, ruled that an Irish firm, Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&lD) had the right to seize $9billion in Nigerian assets.
Consequently, Justice Butcher of the British Commercial Court ordered the seizure of 20 per cent in assets of Nigeria’s foreign reserves, amounting to $9bn (£7.4bn).
However, Malami said the judgement against Nigeria was “consequences of the underhand dealings of the past administration”.
The AGF pointed fingers at the last administration, insisting that the dispute that led to the arbitration followed a purported contract awarded to (P&lD) in 2010.
“It may interest you to know that the dispute that led to the arbitration between the FGN and P&ID which consequently resulted in the said court ruling arose from a twenty (20) years’ Gas Supply Processing Agreement (GSPA) purportedly entered with P&ID by the past administration in 2010 which contract P&ID never performed as agreed.
“That being said, it must be placed on record that the Federal Government strongly views with serious concerns the underhand manner by which the negotiation, signing and formation of the contract was carried out by some vested interests in the past administration in connivance with their local and international conspirators all in a bid to inflict grave economic adversity on the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the good people of Nigeria,” Malami stated.
The Minister spoke in Abuja, during the official unveiling of the Justice Ministry’s roadmap and policy direction of the Federal Government in the justice sector.
Consequently, the Minister of Justice hinted that the Federal Government would not fold hands and allow those found wanting in the deal to escape the wrath of the law.
“As a government that has the mandate of the people, and their interests at heart, we shall not fold our arms and allow this injustice to go unpunished.
“All efforts, actions and steps shall be taken to bring to book all private individuals, corporate entities and government officials home or abroad and past or present that played direct and indirect roles in the conception, negotiation, signing, formation as well as prosecution of the purported agreement,” the AGF vowed.
Similarly, Malami said plans were underway for the activation of sacrosanct provision of Section 15 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) against private individuals and corporate entities culpable of concealing, disguising, converting, transferring, hiding, removing from the shore of Nigeria, acquiring, using, retaining or taking possession or control of any fund or property they knowingly or reasonably ought to have known to have formed or forming part of the proceeds of unlawful acts.
“As bad news to the rogues within our financial system, in the next four years, the Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with anti-corruption agencies shall be beaming anti-corruption searchlight on the financial institutions (F1s) and Non-Designated Financial Institutions (DNFIs).
This he said, is targeted at “making them pay dearly for the dastardly role they have played and are still playing in encouraging and deepening corruption in Nigeria.”
“From arms procurement fraud, INEC bribery case to Diezani’s case, and several others, quantitative data available to the Federal Government abundantly shows that financial institutions are directly involved in most of the major corruption cases investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) from 2015 till date,” the AGF revealed.
He disclosed that his Ministry would develop and promote appropriate executive bills capable of achieving the objective of combating systemic and grand corruption that had ravaged and still ravaging the country.
“Where necessary, the Ministry shall initiate necessary executive orders to close apparent gaps in the anti-corruption initiatives currently in place in Nigeria,” Malami said. (Independent)
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