Former Attorney-General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa, SAN, spoke on the recent Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) court case settlement as a part of the council of lawyers who took up the case.
On Monday, the Business and Property Court of England and Wales decided in favour of Nigeria in a lawsuit attempting to overturn a $11 billion arbitration verdict in favour of Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID). The awards were gained by deception, according to the ruling, which was given by Justice Robin Knowles.
In an ARISE NEWS interview on Tuesday, Aondoakaa agreed with Minister of Justice, Attorney General Lateef Fagbemi, stating that the fraud has been exposed since his time and encouraged more actions to be taken against more fraudulent cases pending by hiring high power legal experts. He used himself as an example alongside others in the council who were a part of bringing the case to justice.
“I came into the matter because I was accused and my desire was to make a point that this is a fraud. And I’m glad the government gave me the opportunity to be part of the legal team to prove that this was fraud. And I’m glad to be part of it to prove that I wasn’t involved.
“I believe that any sensible person shouldn’t go on a plea because the fraud has been well-established. Why should somebody be in such a hurry to commit such huge fraud against somebody or a sovereign nation? I completely agree with the attorney general that we must set up a committee immediately to examine other pending matters.”
The former Minister of Justice stated that the relevant agencies need to address civil servants who have in one way or the other been involved in the defrauding of Nigerian people.
“I have confidence in the current attorney general, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN to take steps to put a stop to this nonsense because this nonsense has continued like a cycle. Thank GOD when I was an attorney general, I didn’t allow this nonsense and frivolous cases to come in.
“People come into the country with a briefcase and a piece of paper and then get billions of dollars. Is that how to make money? Then the civil servants who liaised the processes are criminally liable and they must be taken to court. People who have also contributed much to solving the case should be appreciated.”
Concerning the case with the director, the lawyer stated that he and his predecessor, Mohammed Bello Adoke testified against her by disproving her case where she stated that she had an increase in her tenor by the Minister yet no document of proof was submitted. He also called for others involved in the fraud to be brought to justice with more thorough investigation.
In his final statements, the lawyer charged the government to increase the overhead running cost of courts in Nigeria for effective carriage of duties .
“I was in Lagos and we had to hurry because the lights were going off and we were using generators. The diesel there could not meet up because they were still working on overhead being given to them when diesel was still N200 per litre,” he lamented.