The twice deported Vaswani brothers – Sunil, Haresh and Maresh – have been granted a fresh presidential pardon to return to Nigeria.
The presidential pardon, Sunday Vanguard gathered in Abuja, was sequel to a review of their case by the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoka was said to have raised a memo on the issue to President Goodluck Jonathan asking that the Indian businessmen be allowed to return to Nigeria.
The President approved the recommendation last Wednesday.
In November last year, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos quashed the deportation of the Vaswani brothers and some of their foreign workers.
Besides, the court presided over by Justice Mohammed Liman declared that the Federal Government acted wrongly in withdrawing their resident permits and expatriate quota status, as it did not follow due processin their deportation.
The court restrained government and its agents from â€œenforcing or giving effect to the letter dated April 8, 2009, withdrawing the expatriate quota status of the plaintiffs.â€
The brothers were first deported in May 2003 by the Obasanjo government which accused them of defrauding the country of huge import duties.
Their case was however reviewed by the Yarâ€™Adua government which, in a December 12, 2007 letter to the Vaswanis ,said their deportation order had been revoked.
The then Chief of Staff to the President, General Abdullahi Mohammed said government action was based on a â€œcareful study of your case as presented, and, after appraisal, and analysis of submissions by the various relevant government agencies, and in the spirit of justice, fairness and observance of the rule of lawâ€.
Gen. Mohammed said: â€œconsequently, you are as from now being given an unfettered right of return to Nigeria should you choose to do so, just as all relevant agencies concerned have been informed of this developmentâ€.
But in April 2009, the Vaswanis were deported for a second time for alleged N2.5 billion tax evasion.
Repatriated with them were 21 of their foreign workers.
The chairman of the Economic and Other Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, at a press conference in Abuja at the time said the Vaswanis brought into Nigeria nine vessel loads of rice without paying import duties.