BEVERLY HILLS, September 16, (THEWILL) – The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has revealed that the Federal Government has begun moves to deal with local and international collaborators involved in the controversial P&ID contract, over which a whopping $9.6 billion award has been given against Nigeria by a British court.
Speaking with journalists on Sunday, Malami said: “There is indeed an ongoing investigation being extensively and intensively carried out by agencies of government. It is indeed concerted. It is borderless and there are no limitations as to who and who can be invited and who cannot be invited.
“I wouldn’t like to be specific on personalities but I want to state categorically that those that were involved in the process of drafting the agreement, in the process of signing the agreement and conduct of the contract are being investigated for the purpose of establishing the existence of fraud or otherwise.
“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.
“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.”
Malami added that the federal government was working on establishing the veracity of fraud insinuations which would be a good ground to set aside the award.
“Along the line of negotiation, many fact came to light, inclusive of the fact that gave rise to the possibility of insinuation of fraudulent underhand among the parties involved.
“And for your information, legally speaking, fraud could be a ground for setting aside an award without necessarily having to go through the rules of seeking for leave.
“If you can establish fraud, there is no time limit within which you can raise it, as against appealing the award of the decision of the tribunal on the basis of law of facts.
“So when fraudulent insinuations manifested in the course of the engagement, it was only logical that Nigeria should have a consideration for investigation relating to the fraudulent elements which could afford the country an opportunity to have the entire award set aside if fraud can now be established.”
The minister explained that the federal government made attempts to negotiate with P7ID because by the time President Muhammadu Buhari’s government came onboard but “all opportunities for appeal, setting aside, stay of execution were closed, taking into consideration that the time within which to appeal had, indeed, elapsed.”