Ibrahim Magu, the acting head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has said the commission would prosecute all those behind the failed contract that resulted in the $9.6billion British court judgment against Nigeria.
The Nigerian government and Irish company, Process and Industrial Development (P and ID), had been battling legally over a failed gas supply agreement.
Concise News understands that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the EFCC, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to conduct a thorough investigation into the activities of the Irish firm.
The country has since sought stay of execution on the award of the money to P and ID.
It was learned that President Buhari asked the aforementioned agencies to probe the firm and its activities because the Nigerian government suspected foul play in the contract which was negotiated and signed in 2010.
Magu, speaking during an anti-corruption road walk organised by the Kaduna Zonal office of the EFCC on Friday, said that the company was originally registered as a conduit pipe to siphon public funds.
But he stated that the commission had gone far in its investigation and will soon expose those behind the contract and the court judgment irrespective of whether they are serving in the present government or had served in the past administrations.
He said, “They have adopted another measure… they want to rob this country. Otherwise, why should someone go from behind and connive with government officials and demand a judgement of $9.6 billion?
“Do you know how much that is? If we want to build a general hospital in every village in Nigeria, that money is enough.
“A very serious investigation is going on and very soon we will expose them all.”
Nigeria Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, had, on Tuesday, August 27, announced what the Nigerian president, Buhari, had asked the country’s intelligence agencies to do.
He said, “We want to place on record that the Federal Government views with serious concerns the underhanded manner in which the contract was negotiated and signed.
“Indications are that the whole process was carried out by some vested interests in the past administration, which apparently colluded with their local and international conspirators, to inflict grave economic injury on Nigeria and its people.
“In view of the above, and in an attempt to unravel the circumstances surrounding the entire transaction, the Attorney-General of the Federation, with the approval of Mr President, has requested the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the National Intelligence Agency and the Inspector-General of Police to conduct a thorough investigation into the company, the circumstances surrounding the agreement and the subsequent event, which includes commencing a full-scale criminal investigation.”
Also speaking on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, alleged foul play in the award of the contract for the construction of a gas processing plant in Cross River State.
Malami said, “The President has indeed directed that full scale investigation should be carried out relating to the circumstances that gave rise to the contract in its own right, and the eventual award as well.
“The criminal investigation relating thereto, has indeed become necessary in view of the certain antecedent relating to the contract in its own right and the eventual award.
“Insinuations abound that the contract was originally designed to fail fundamentally against the background of the fact that there were inherent element of hitches that were designed into it right from conception.
“When I talk of inherent element of hitches, I want to draw attention first to the fact that by composition of the parties to the agreement there were two parties – the P&ID which is the company and – the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
“As you rightly know very well, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is not a producer of gas. Gas products are produced by the International Oil Companies, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.”
Central Bank of Nigeria boss reacts
Similarly, the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the allegation by the company that they had invested 40 million dollars in the project was false since the government had no record of any such investment.
He said, “We have heard and also read in the media that the P&ID or the contractor in this case had mentioned that it had invested close to about $40m in the project.
“On our part as the Central Bank of Nigeria, we note that the P&ID is a foreign company. As a foreign company, if you are investing either in a contract or a project in Nigeria, there are various options you will adopt in bringing in your investment.
“If you are bringing in capital, in which case you are bringing in money, you will fill Form A and you will also collect a certificate of capital importation.
“If you are bringing in machine or assets to execute your contract, then in this case you will fill Form M and also collect a certificate of capital importation to prove that you actually brought in money.
“We have gone through our records, we do not have any information in our records to show that this company brought in one cent into this country and we have accordingly written to the EFCC and the Intelligence Department of the Nigeria Police that are currently investigating this matter.”