Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Civil Society groups, the Guardians of Democracy and Development, Transparency and Accountability Initiative against Corruption have condemned the plan to blackmail the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami over the $9.6 billion P&ID judgment debt.
In a joint press conference addressed by the Convener, Guardians of Democracy and Development, Mr. Solomon Adodo and the Executive Director, Transparency and Accountability Initiative Against Corruption, Mallam Suleiman Musa, on Friday in Abuja, said they had keenly followed the trajectory of events pertaining to the gas processing contract entered into between the federal government and P&ID from its conception stage to this point where judgement had been passed.
The groups explained that irrespective of the glaring facts about the said contract and subsequent judgement, they said they have got wind of a bluntly determined attempt by hired unpatriotic civil society groups to blackmail the person of the AGF just in a bid to pass the buck and pave way for the hasty implementation of the $9.6 billion judgement premised on a sham lawsuit filed at a Court in the United Kingdom.
The groups said that for clear emphasis and proper records, it should be stated ab initio that the said contract was entered into in January, 2010, when Mr. Michael Quinn of P&ID and Mr. Rilwanu Lukman the then Minister of Petroleum Resources signed the Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) on behalf of P&ID and the Nigerian government respectively. The groups added that a cursory check would reveal that several other parties were integrated into the contract with clearly defined roles and to the extent that their roles could affect the outcome of the contract, adding that it was no hidden fact that some of these sub-parties to the contract pulled out on the course of time leading to the failure of the said contract.
The groups stated: “Following the failure of the contract, in 2014 P&ID filed a suit against the federal government at the Arbitration Tribunal in the United Kingdom. It should be stated in clear terms that Abubakar Malami was not the Attorney General and Minister of Justice neither did he have any role to play in the said contract.
“It is therefore mischievous to accuse Mr. Malami of sabotaging the federal government’s effort whereas he was not there from the commencement of the deal and/or the legal brickbats that ensued. “Our findings reveal that the intentions of these civil society groups is to distract the AGF while frustrating the efforts of the federal government to amicably arrive at a more plausible solution which will create a soft landing for Nigeria. P&ID has therefore engaged these mischievous civil society groups to serve as smokescreen in fighting the Attorney General of the Federation.”
The groups therefore warned these civil society groups before they embark on their binge of mischief against the Nigerian State, noting that they are not just intent on coming for the head of Malami but are determined to grab Nigeria by the jugular so long as this case and the fairy Judgement of $9.6 billion is concerned.