It is no longer news that the Nigerian Government is demanding records of 60 companies and individuals from 10 banks in the United States as part of its efforts to overturn the controversial $9.6 billion P&ID fine.
Among the individuals whose bank records are being sought are a former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan; his wife, Patience Jonathan; former Nigerian petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke; amongst others.
According to a news report published on PREMIUM TIMES, culled from law360.com, a New York federal Judge has ruled that Nigeria can subpoena 10 banks in the United States for information needed to prosecute government officials allegedly connected to a British Virgin Island engineering firm’s alleged bribery scheme and subsequent $9.6 billion arbitral claim.
The district Judge Lorna Schofield, who gave the ruling, ordered the banks to allow the Nigerian government have access to sundry account details of officials listed in its subpoena request.
The rule in favour of the Nigerian government would help the government prove its claim that the $9.6 billion arbitration obtained by Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) was by fraud.
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“There is good reason to believe that ministers at the highest level were involved in a corrupt scheme to steal money from Nigeria,” Attorney General Abubakar Malami said in court filings submitted on March 24.
This has led Nigeria to ask the the federal court in New York for permission to subpoena information about transactions involving government officials, including Mr Jonathan and his wife, as the politicians were in office when the state signed a contract with Process & Industrial Developments Ltd., and later became involved in a costly dispute with the company.
PREMIUM TIMES reports that Nigeria’s chances of annulling the giant penalty lie on proving the 2010 gas supply arrangement was a sham designed to fail by P&ID and government officials.
Full article is published on the PREMIUM TIMES website.
However, In his reaction to the development, Mr Jonathan said that he has no account or property abroad.