Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami has vowed that the Federal Government will protect the interest of the country and its citizens on all matters, including the contract saga with Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) that led to the hefty sum of $9.6 billion awarded against Nigeria in favour of the company.
Malami spoke in Abuja on Sunday at a media interactive session.
According to him,” I know each of you will be itching to know more about the current case that Nigeria has on hand-the $9.6 billion awarded against us in favour of Process and Industrial Developments Limited. I have decided not to speak too much on this matter since it is still within the domain of the courts in the UK and the U.S. However, suffice it to say that at a joint world press conference in Abuja two weeks ago, the Central Bank Governor, Finance Minister, Information Minister and I all spoke on the matter and I at a point issued press releases and press engagements, which I believe many of you used effectively last week and I really want to thank you for that.”
He added that “ I want to say that while I don’t wish to say so much on the P&ID matter, I want to state clearly that the Nigerian Government will not sell out the interest of the country and the Nigerian people in order to satisfy some elements who are consciously out to extort the Nigerian people for their selfish aggrandisement.”
The Attorney General stressed that “It is to be noted that while we are willing and ready to negotiate and meet the terms of agreements reached with all genuine investors which have done business or are still doing business with Nigeria on mutually beneficial terms, we will not allow fraudulent local and foreign collaborators to rip off the resources of Nigeria for no just cause in order to be seen as being nice or ‘investor-friendly’.”
He stated that “Those who are clapping for P&ID and blaming AbubakarMalami and the Buhari administration for the huge $9.6 billion slammed on the country as a result of the so-called Gas Supply and Processing Contract awarded the firm on January 11, 2010, five years before President Buhari came to power and I became minister, should be kind enough to ask those who awarded the ‘so-called contract’ what it was all about and why there was no attempt by either those who awarded the contract and the contractor to implement even an aspect of it.”
The Minister said “Nigerians should also ask the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) government that awarded the contract why it was given to a company, whose address is C/O of a lawyer’s office: Trident Chambers, P.O Box 146, Tortola, British Virgin Island and that means the company does not have an office of its own and has no record of executing any project of any kind close to what it was awarded in Nigeria.
Raising some additional posers, he said “The questions to further ask are:
- In whose interest was the critical contract awarded and what was it to achieve?
- Why was the centre of arbitration taken to London, and not Nigeria, a sovereign nation?
- Why was the contract not passed unto the Federal Ministry of Justice for vetting?
- Why was the Federal Executive Council’s approval not sought for in the execution of the agreement?
- Was there any Direct Capital Inflow arising from the contract?
- Was NNPC, NPDC and IOC’s who were to have supplied the gas component of the agreement not made parties to it?”
He said “it is clear from all indications that the so-called contract was a well organised scam Consciously, Deliberately and intentionally orchestrated by some dubious and well-placed Nigerian government officials at the time with some shrewd foreign collaborators to defraud Nigeria and inflict heavy economic and financial loss on Nigeria and its people. There is a comprehensive report by Bloomberg Businessweek on the whole scam and those who want to know more about the so-called contract can read up on: Is One of the World’s Biggest Lawsuits Built on a Sham?”
The Minister said the ongoing investigation on the matter by relevant government agencies would be “border less” and nobody who has questions to answer would spared from being investigated and invited.