Soni Daniel – Northern Region Editor
Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Saturday rejected claims by Process and Industrial Development Limited P&ID that he was responsible for the delay that culminated in the award of $9.6 billion penalty over the failure of a multi-million Gas Supply Processing Agreement which Nigeria entered into the company in 2010.
Malami told Saturday Vanguard in Abuja that it was irresponsible and mischievous for anyone to blame him or the Buhari administration for a contract that had failed and a huge amount of penalty awarded against the government five years before they came into office.
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Malami, who produced documents to back his claim, pointed out that the entire Gas Supply and Processing Agreement signed between Nigeria’s Ministry of Petroleum and P&ID in 2010 was deliberately skewered to fail so as to benefit a syndicate that was out to extort Nigeria of its resources.
Malami said: “The records are there for any same persons to see and judge if indeed Malami or indeed the Buhari government can be held responsible for an act that had been completed five years before we came into office.
“The contract in question was a 2010 agreement signed five years before I came into office while the award by the United Kingdom court of Arbitration was in June 2014, one year before I was appointed minister of Justice by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“As a responsible and responsive public officer keen on protecting the interest of Nigeria, I took steps to engage local and international lawyers to defend Nigeria’s interest once the stupendous award was brought to my knowledge as the chief law officer of the federation.
“Among the prominent lawyers we engage to pursue Nigeria’s interest in the UK court, were: Chief Bola Ayorinde, SAN, and Curtis Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, which did their best to defend our interest.
“Above all, as far back as June 2017, I wrote series of letters to relevant security agencies in Nigeria to investigate the criminal conspiracy and economic sabotage occasioned by the GSPA contract.
“In addition, I also took appropriate steps to intimate relevant government institutions of developments as they unfolded regarding this matter and engaged in probable out of court settlement negotiations.
“It is therefore wrong and unfortunate for any sane person to insinuate or imply that AGF Malami is culpable in any way regarding the award of $9.6 billion against Nigeria by an English court when it is clear that I had no hand whatsoever in the planning, signing and implementation of the so-called gas supply and processing contract in 2010,” the minister said.