Michael Aondooakaa. Image credit: Premium Times

Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondooakaa, says the gas contract awarded to Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) was not approved by the Umar Musa Yar’adua administration.

Aondooakaa, who was the country’s chief law officer in 2010 when the contract was signed, said the contract was not approved by the federal executive council.

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Concise News reports that a United Kingdom court presided over by Justice Butcher had on August 16, 2019 awarded the sum of $9bn in favour of the foreign firm.

In 2010, P&ID, an Irish engineering company, entered into a 20-year gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) with the federal government to build a state-of-the-art gas processing facility in Calabar.

But the company said after spending several years preparing for the project, it collapsed because the Nigerian government did not build a pipeline or secure supply of gas as stipulated in the agreement.

It then sought judicial remedy in 2012, and in 2017, it was awarded $6.6 billion in damages – of which interest rose to $9 billion.

The process leading to the award of the contract has raised concerns with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) declaring it would investigate those involved in it.

The names of Rilwanu Lukman, deceased ex-minister of petroleum and Aondooakaa have been mentioned as some of those involved in the contract.

The former AGF said he was not aware of the deal and backed efforts by the government to reverse the judgment and remedy the embarrassing situation.

“I can tell you that no such contract was brought for deliberation to the best of my knowledge.

“I did not see such contract and since the news broke I have been wondering how this was possible,” he said.

Concise News reports that the Nigerian government has said it would prosecute government officials who caused the award of $9bn by a British court against the country.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said this on Thursday during his first full day in office in Abuja.

Malami promised to pursue judicial reforms including proposing an amendment of the Constitution that would provide an innovative way to tackle congestion of cases at the Supreme Court.

He said the anti-corruption agencies, under his watch, would be beaming searchlight on banks, and other financial institutions, and non-designated financial institutions, which he said, “are involved in most of the major corruption cases”.

Malami described the award by the UK court as sad, and dubbed it as part of the “consequences of the underhand dealings of the past administrations”.