The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under the leadership of Godwin Emefiele, resisted pressure to pay P&ID $11 billion in an arbitral award, saving the country billions of dollars in the process....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
This was revealed by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), in an interview with ARISE NEWS Channel.
Aondoakaa said that there was strong pressure from some quarters to settle the case with P&ID, but that Emefiele and a few others resisted the pressure.
He said that Emefiele was instrumental in providing the legal team with the support and resources they needed to successfully defend the case.
He said: “This fraud has been exposed and it gives us a window to look at other similar cases like Ajaokuta and the rest of them that they hurriedly went abroad, got arbitration, and are trying to enforce against Nigeria.
“I, particularly, give credit to the CBN under the then Governor, Godwin Emefiele because there was strong pressure that settlement should be made. Our team was in the minority and we must fight till the end. There was also apprehension that if we didn’t settle and the court would now give judgment against us, Nigeria would lose everything. But for them to have confidence in us, there was one man in the CBN, the Director of Legal Services; he gave us the confidence, gave us the support, and ensured that we were able to present to the UK lawyers that this was a fraud. So, I am most grateful, I completely agree with the honourable Attorney General that this is a big fraud.”
Recall that presidency sources had revealed at the time that many, including top government officials, had pressured President Muhammadu Buhari to approve payment for the award.
However, Emefiele reportedly convinced the president that the contract was fraudulent and that P&ID would fail in court if Nigeria hired competent lawyers.
Based on Emefiele’s assurances, President Buhari refused to approve the payment, and Nigeria was eventually able to overturn the arbitral award in a London court.
Aondoakaa, therefore, urged the incumbent Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), to look at other fraudulent cases filed against the country.