November 4, 2023

Alleged P&ID scam: Ex-director Grace Taiga’s lawyer tells court his client is dead

Grace Taiga

Grace Taiga

Mr Daniel Alumun, counsel defending retired Director, Legal, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Grace Taiga, in the alleged P$ID bribery scam on Friday formally informed an FCT High Court of the dead.

Taiga was standing trial before Justice Olukayode Adeniyi on allegations bordering on bribery in the controversial Gas Supply Processing Agreement (GSPA) between Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

She was dragged before by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an amended 13-count charge bordering on bribery, among others.

EFCC alleged that Taiga received bribe through her offshore bank account in signing the controversial GPSA

It further alleged that she violated various laws by entering into the Agreement without prior approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and a certificate of no objection to the contract from the Bureau of Public Enterprise (PBE).

She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against her.

The deceased was first arraigned before the court in the case, marked, FCT/HC/CR/504/19, on , Sept 20, 2019 on a- eight-court charge before the charge brought against her was amended by the prosecution twice in the course of presenting its case .

EFCC first amended the charge against the defendant on Oct. 3, 2020 to 11-count and later further amended it to 13-count on Jan. 10, 2021.

In the course of presenting its case, the prosecution called eight witnesses to testify against the defendant and closed its case on Feb. 27, 2023, when the court directed the defendant to open her defence.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, counsel for Taiga, Daniel Alumun, informed the court that the defendant passed on on August 1, 2023 at a hospital in Abuja.

Alumun tendered a letter, titled, “Hospital Death Declaration”, from Primus International Super Speciality Hospital, Karu New Extension, Abuja, to notify the court of the demise of Taiga.

In view of the unfortunate development, the defence counsel, urged the court to dismiss the charge.

The EFCC counsel, Abba Mohammed, however, insisted that a death certificate must be brought before the court by the defence in compliance with the law before the court could dismiss the case.

Justice Adeniyi agreed with the submission of the prosecuting counsel and directed that a death certificate be produced before the court.

He subsequently adjourned the case until Jan. 24, 2024 for compliance with the law by the defence.