Office of the Attorney General of the Federation on Monday revealed moves to investigate the past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan over a $10 billion contract that did not pass through due process.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami stated this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, decrying that the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan entered into a contract with Process and Industrial Development (P & ID) Limited, a United Kingdom based oil firm without passing it through the scrutiny of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as required.
Malami’s position was made known in reaction to Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah’s inquiry on the legal tussle in the said contract.
According to Malami, a Taskforce has been set up to review problems inherent in the contract but lamented that the said contract has the capacity to undermine Nigeria’s economy if government succumbs to its terms stressing that it would open doors for nine similar ones if care wasn’t taken to resist it.
Malami said: “On the issue raised by Distinguished Senator Bala Na’Allah, as you rightly observed, these are the components that will provide solutions to the issues raised.
“It is the Taskforce that is intended to review the existing problematic contracts that have the capacity to undermine the economy in line with the P & ID; a kind of lessons and experience.
“In the office of the Attorney General, there exist two fundamental departments relating to the vetting of contracts. Solicitor Department is charged with vetting any governmental contract and they have lived up to expectations over time.
“But the major problem with P & ID is, that contract was never ever allowed to pass through the Office of the Attorney General for vetting. So, on the account of that, there are embedded in the contract clause that is inimical to the interest of the nation.”
The Chief officer of the Federation further pointed out that some officials in former President Jonathan’s government conspired against the nation for selfish reasons and signed the contract without passing it through AGF’s office and FEC for vetting as was the tradition.
“Because of the fact that there is a preliminary conspiracy among the key promoters of the contract, the contract was never allowed to pass through the Federal Executive Council, FEC for its approval, neither was it allowed to pass through the Federal Ministry of Justice for vetting.
“The existing structures are there, but they can only act in respect of contracts that are referred to the department.
“For example, as it is now, even though in respect of government contracts, arising from the fact that China is involving certain clauses regarding immunity which some ministries and departments are willing to compromise, they are not allowed to pass.
“We have developed need for other circulars that these are intended clauses that could be tolerated in the public interest and the interest of the nation in mind were attached.
“What I’m saying, in essence, is that the Taskforce is poised at looking at it.
In respect of P&ID, there were about nine contracts that were signed at the same time in breach of due processes and procedure.”(Dailypost)