A contract was signed between an Irish company and the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources roughly 10 years ago under very questionable circumstances; and it appeared that the foundation to swindle the Nigerian government of several billions of dollars, years into the future, was laid.
The P&ID issue became more controversial when the company secured an enforcement order from a London based court to seize Nigeria’s foreign assets in order to fulfill the arbitration award sum of $6.6 billion which has since compounded in interests to $9.6 billion as at August 2019. It was then, when the imminence of losing its foreign based assets, that reality finally dawned on the Federal Government and officials began to scramble for all the help they could get to overturn the judgment as well as prosecute all those involved in the signing of the shady deal.
In an investigation report published by Bloomberg earlier in the week, many of the shady contracts and the footprint of the deceased chairman of P&ID, Michael Quinn, in Nigeria, all the way back to the 70’s were highlighted. Michael Quinn, who was an Irishman, knows too many people in high places in Nigeria and he has always used same influence to wring out juicy but inflated contracts from his contacts in government high places. Some sources say that he knew Former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former top Generals – Olusegun Obasanjo and even Theophilus Danjuma, who revealed a few day ago that the gas deal P&ID sued the Nigerian government for was originally his idea until Michael Quinn stole the idea and ran with it.
Corroborated by the Bloomberg report, former spokesperson of late President Yar’Adua, Olusegun Adeniyi, did further digging about how the purported contract was signed while Yar’Adua was away in Saudi Arabia battling for his life and then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan incapacitated to act as president. Adeniyi found out and got confirmation that then Director of Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Engineer Emeka Ezeh, had no knowledge of such a deal being signed while other sources confirmed that the gas deal between P&ID and the Petroleum Ministry was never approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
According to the BPP law, any such deal at federal scale which does not get the approval of the FEC and the BPP’s Certificate of No Objection is a nullity. If this was the case, then it must have been that the contract was hurriedly drafted and designed knowing full well that it would never be successful; thereby setting the ground up for the arbitration to claim damages for the project’s failure.
Had he been alive, the individual who purportedly signed the ill-fated deal on behalf of the Federal Government, Dr. Rilwan Lukman, who was then Petroleum Minister, would have had a lot of questions to answer now as to what led to the deal with P&ID and how it culminated into a contract signing without the necessary approvals granted.
Had President Yar’Adua himself been alive, he might have been shocked to hear that such a fatalistic deal was signed under him without his knowledge. Former President Goodluck Jonathan was still early into his substantive term as president when P&ID began the process of instituting the arbitration in 2012. P&ID could barely wait before instituting an arbitration to claim damages for projected profits claiming that it had already spent $40 million when it was yet to move any equipment on project site.
A little dig into the particulars of the other owners of the purported Irish company, P&ID, revealed that it is shell company registered in Cayman Islands where no details of its directors could ever be known. Had the execution of the enforcement order to seize Nigeria’s foreign assets gone ahead by now, the beneficiaries of the $9.6 billion jackpot would have been ghosts.
Interestingly, the mysterious owners of P&ID could as well be some Nigerian godfathers or cabal members only using Michael Quinn’s corrupted name as a front for the company. And the reality pangs again that just a handful of rogues and their co-conspirators are so close to swindling Nigerians of an insurmountable amount of sovereign wealth – for the umpteenth time in our history.
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Featured Image Source: Sahara Reporters