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P&ID Scandal: Witness says Office of the Attorney General not aware of any agreement
A major prosecution witness in the Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) alleged fraud case, Umar Babangida said that contrary to the claims of Grace Tiaga, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation did not receive a copy of the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement (GSPA) permitting P&ID to operate in Nigeria.
Grace Tiaga is a former director of legal in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources currently facing charges by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged involvement in fraudulent activities of P&ID.
Babangida who is the lead investigator in the alleged fraud case told an FCT High Court sitting in Apo on Thursday that following Tiaga’s claims, he sent a letter of request to the Ministry of Justice requesting a receipt of the GSPA agreement but the solicitor in charge responded that such letter did not exist.
“He also stated unequivocally that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice did not play any role and was not aware of the drafted agreement from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources,” Babangida said.
Babangida also informed the court that after receiving such letter, former Solicitors General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice between the year 2008 and 2015 were invited and they both denied the existence of the agreement
He further stated that according to the regulation of the Ministry, agreements by legal officers at Ministries, departments and agencies above N50 million must be forwarded to the office of the AGF for vetting adding that a project of that nature ought to have been forwarded but that wasn’t done.
The prosecutor explained that during the investigation, the prosecution discovered that one of P&ID’s associate companies, Industrial Consultant International, paid $10,000 into Tiaga’s account with Zenith Bank.
“In 2018, the same Industrial Consultant International paid another $10,000 into the defendant’s Zenith Bank account,” Babangida stated.