Nigerian government has written to 10 foreign and local banks to furnish it with bank statements of some former public office holders over the judgement granted in favour of the Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) gas deal.
After being hit with a ruling totalling $9.6bn, including interest over a breach in contract, is seeking documents as part of the internal investigation into the contract and arbitration proceedings to help it launch an appeal in the UK.
Some of the banks include the Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and the New York branches of the United Bank for Africa and Deutsch Bank AG.
Among those affected by the bank statement requests are former President Goodluck Jonathan, whose name only appeared alongside the former ministers of petroleum, and his wife, Patience. The former ministers are Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, who died in July 2014, and Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is reportedly battling with cancer.
It is reported that the Federal Government through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, would be looking into all the documents concerning any transactions, to, from, or for the benefit of Jonathan and his wife since 2009.
Malami had said in court filing submitted in March, “There is good reason to believe that ministers at the highest level were involved in a corrupt scheme to steal money from Nigeria. He also disclosed that the P&ID had neither the capacity nor intention of ever performing the contract, which required the company to build a gas processing plant with the government supplying the gas.
A United States district judge, Lorna Schofield, granted Nigeria the permission to send copies of its application to the banks. Although, the court is yet to decide on giving Nigeria access to the documents, eight of these applications had been served by April 15.
Although, Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has yet to link any evidence of fraud between P&ID and public officers, it said the 10 banks were “likely to have processed U.S. dollar transactions connected to P&ID’s operations as either correspondent banks or the New York branches of foreign lenders.”
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