News

April 13, 2024

FG moves to extradite Indians over $25 million Power project

Electricity

…As Firm petitions IGP

 By Soni Daniel, Abuja

Three years after a law firm, LAWLEAD Consult petitioned the Inspector-General of Police to investigate alleged cases of criminal breach of trust and forgery against an Indian firm over a $25 million transformer deal, the suspects are yet to honour the invitation of the Nigeria Police through INTERPOL, a development that has triggered a legal move to bring them to justice in Nigeria.

In the petition signed by Abubakar Yahaya Ndakene, the law firm called for the investigation of the chairman of Transformers and Rectifiers (Indian) Limited, Jitendra Mamtora and the managing director, Satyen Mamtora to answer the allegations against them and their company.

Sunday Vanguard gathered that trouble started when Transformers and Rectifiers (Indian) Limited secured a $25 million transformer deal to supply transformers to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), in a World Bank funded project, midwifed by their Nigerian agent, P-NEC Nigeria Ltd.

READ ALSO: NDDC to hand over Ondo power project to TCN ahead of commissioning

It was learnt that after using the Nigerian firm to secure the job, the Indian firm failed to pay the agreed commission of about 10 percent to the Nigeria counterpart, which has triggered a legal battle between the two parties in 2020.

However, it was also learnt that despite several letters of invitation sent to the Indian company and their executives from INTERPOL and having knowledge of the pending court case in Nigeria, the Indians declined to show up in court but sent legal representations from India to observe proceedings any time the case was called.

But in response, INTERPOL, after receiving the petition and carrying out their investigation, placed Jitendra Mamtora and Satyen Mamtora on red notice, which led to the arrest of the former in Italy.

However, after the detention of Jitendra Mamtora in Italy, he moved to India and the Indian INTERPOL notified INTERPOL Nigeria of his arrival and requested that INTERPOL Nigeria follow diplomatic channels for the extradition of the suspect.

Sunday Vanguard learned that it was based on that development that the Nigerian Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, immediately signed extradition requests and dispatched same to India to release the suspects to Nigeria to face trial.

One of the complaints against the Indians by the petitioners is for alleged forgery of a court affidavit in Nigeria.

This led to the call for investigation of forgery against the Indians by the Nigeria Police Force.

On whether full payment has been made to the Indian company for the supply of the transformers, the source told one of our correspondents that the Indian company had collected 90 percent of the contract sum, leaving a balance of 10 percent retention which is to be collected after the completion of the contract. 

It was gathered that the pending case of extradition against the Indian suspects comes up at the Federal High Court 10, sitting in Abuja, presided by Justice Evelyn Maha on Monday, April 15, 2024.