$9.6b Judgment: Nigerian Groups Protest At British High Commission
Image courtesy: Sodiq Adelakun/www.channelstv.com

A coalition of civil society groups on Monday stormed the British High Commission in Abuja to protest the $9.6 billion fine a United Kingdom court ordered Nigeria to pay Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) over a failed gas supply agreement.

Concise News learned that the protesters gathered at the British and Irish Embassies, carrying various placards calling on the court to overturn the judgment.

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The groups claimed that it was politically motivated and that the private company involved did not follow due process in the oil contract deal.

In a statement issued on behalf of the groups, Etuk Bassey said the judgment was a “travesty to justice, disrespect to the sovereignty of the Nigerian government.”

The Nigerian government has since sought stay of execution on the award of the aforementioned money to P&ID.

Magu talks tough 

Meanwhile, 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.

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.

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.”

Central Bank of Nigeria boss reacts 

Similarly, the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, said last week Tuesday that 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.”