The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has said that, henceforth, the Ministry of Justice will vet certain categories of contracts before any Federal Government agency signs them.
Malami, who spoke in Abuja on Thursday as he resumes work as Justice Minister, said the reason behind the decision was to curb corruption in public service, as well as to rid the country of financial institutions that aid and abet unethical financial practices against the country.
The re-appointed minister also expressed concerns about the recent United Kingdom’s judgment which awarded $9.9bn against Nigeria in the Nigeria V Process & Industrial Developments Ltd. case.
He vowed that those who led Nigeria into the contract would be prosecuted.
A British court had ruled that an engineering and project management company, Process and Industrial Developments Ltd., had the right to seize $9bn in Nigerian assets.
The ruling, delivered on Friday, August 16 by Justice Butcher, bordered on a 2010 contract Nigeria signed with P&ID, to the intent that the latter would build a state-of-the-art gas processing plant to refine natural gas (“wet gas”) into “lean gas” that Nigeria would receive free of charge to power its national electric grid.
“The lucrative natural gas liquid by-products (propane, ethane, butane) of this processing would be sold by P&ID on the international market, with expected profits in the billions of dollars,” the firm stated on its website.
The agreement suffered a setback and, in 2013, P&ID won a $6.6bn arbitration case against the Federal Government.
Interest accrual on the money since the ruling had peaked at $9bn.