Wahab Shittu, the lawyer to the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, has described the UK court’s verdict in the case against Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) as a victory for his client.
In a statement issued over the weekend, Shittu said the court’s decision showed the result of a detailed and thorough investigation done by the EFCC led by Mr Magu.
“It is a monumental landmark achievement occasioned by Magu’s hard work and leadership style.
“The judgment has indeed greatly relieved the country from the impending and disastrous effect that the execution of the $9.6b judgment plus interest, would have had on our fragile economy,” he said.
Shittu further stated that the decision shows that “rather than punish Mr Magu over his handling of the investigation, he should be given a heroic commendation for saving the country in a huge way”.
According to him, Magu should be celebrated rather than being vilified. “It is rather unfortunate that the handling of P&ID investigation forms part of the allegations against him which led to his suspension,” he added.
On January 31, 2017, a tribunal had ruled that Nigeria should pay P&ID $6.6 billion as damages, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest at 7 per cent.
Subsequently, the Federal Government approached the court to establish that the contract was awarded on illegal terms.
The country has continued to make moves to overturn the judgement and has gotten court clearance to request documents from a P&ID stakeholder and review bank statements of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, as well as that of former petroleum ministers, Diezani Alison-Madueke and Rilwanu Lukman.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on August 18, arraigned James Nolan, a Briton, and six companies over their alleged involvement in the contract.
On September 3, Nigeria secured a landmark victory after Ross Cranston, a judge of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, granted its application for an extension of time and relief from sanctions.