By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Justice Abubakar Malami SAN, yesterday, vowed to bring to book anyone found culpable in the agreement between Nigeria and a foreign firm, P & ID, that led to the award of $9bn judgment debt against Nigeria.
In a judgement delivered on August 16, a British Court ordered for the seizure of 20 per cent in assets of Nigeria’s foreign reserves, amounting to $9bn (£7.4bn).
Speaking upon his resumption as the Chief Law Officer, Malami said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would not allow the matter to be swept under the carpet.
He vowed that all those involved in the agreement which, according to him, was not made in the interest of the nation shall be punished.
‘’The government strongly views with serious concerns the underhand manners by which the negotiation, signing and formation of the contract was carried out by some vested interest in the past administration in connivance with their local and international conspirators, all in a bid to inflict grave economic adversity on the nation.
“As a government, we would not fold our hands, we shall do everything to bring to book all those involved in the conception, negotiation, signing and execution of the purported agreement,’’ Malami vowed.
Further in his address, Malami disclosed that henceforth, financial institutions found to have aided corruption and corrupt politicians in the country would be brought to book.
‘’The Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with anti-corruption agencies shall be beaming anti corruption searchlight on the financial institutions and non-designated financial institutions to make them pay for the role played and still playing in encouraging corruption in Nigeria.
‘’ We cannot afford to fail on account of the lawless acts of the corrupt and unpatriotic few who always derive pleasure in seeing us fail.
‘’I am determined as ever before to use law as a means to shape society and regulate people’s behaviours.
‘’The defence of the corporate interest of the government of Nigeria and the rights of her citizens are my primary goal as Chief law officer,’’ he concluded.
Recall that Justice Butcher of the British Commercial Court, while delivering judgment in the suit filed by an Irish firm, Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID), against Nigeria, gave the firm the go-ahead to seize Nigeria’s asset to the tune of $9bn.
Meanwhile, the federal government has said it would appeal the judgment and has instructed its lawyers to initiate appeal proceedings against the judgment in the British court.