Following a recent UK court judgement awarding a cumulative sum of $9bn in a favour of a private firm, Process & Industrial Development Limited, the Federal Government has vowed to go after Nigerians who are linked with the botched contract.
Recall that immediately the judgement was given last week, the Federal Government had pointed accusing fingers at the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, blaming him for the failed contract since it was entered into during his administration
According to the federal government, the case dates back to 2010, when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was Nigeria’s president. The Nigerian government, under Dr. Jonathan, had struck a deal with the Irish firm to supply gas to a processing plant built and run by P&ID in Calabar.
The agreement was for a 20-year deal. But the Nigerian government failed to keep to her own side of the agreement, prompting the firm to take the case to court.
However, a former aide to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri argued that the former president shouldn’t take the fall because he wasn’t the president in 2010 when the contract was hurriedly out together by some people he called cabals.
He said at the time, Jonathan was completely shut out of power by an unelected cabal that ran Nigeria during the period of the ill health of the late President Yar’adua, before the National Assembly courageously intervened on February 9, 2010.
Omokri said the contract was packaged and arranged by the Minister of Petroleum during the tail end of the late Yar’adua’s administration, Rilwanu Lukman
According to him, after Yaradua’s death, the cabal took over government for close to 6months, completely shutting GEJ out of government. “Within this time, Late Rilwane Lukman who was the petroleum minister at the time quickly packaged a fraudulent deal with P & ID and signed Nigeria’s future away.”
“So, if the Buhari administration is looking for someone to blame for this judgment against Nigeria, it should look at its own cabal.”
Though, no name has been mentioned in connection, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General who disclosed the intention of the government on Thursday questioned the sincerity of those behind the contract awarded in 2010.
He said the case formed part of the inglorious legacies of past administrations, which the government is being made to grapple with.
He said government is ready to prosecute anyone implicated in the failed contract no matter the person’s status.
According to Malami, contract of certain categories will be vetted by the Federal Ministry of Justice before it is signed by any Federal Government agency.
“Henceforth, financial institutions, linked with financial crimes, will be prosecuted along with the culprits.”