$9.6bn Gas Deal: Every Nigerian Should Support FG In Fighting Judgement – Aondoakaa

A former Attorney General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa on Monday called on Nigerians to support the Federal Government against the recent judgment delivered by a British court.

Aondoakaa made the call on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast program, Sunrise Daily.

He said the support is needed because the Federal Government is heading in the right direction.

The Justice Minister added that rather than blaming the Federal Government, Nigerians should rather throw support behind the Federal Government.

“I’m concerned because I am a Nigerian. This is not a time to blame anybody. It’s time for us, every Nigerian no matter what to support the Federal Government to fight this judgment. The judgement can cripple small businesses.

READ ALSO: Gas Deal: FG To Appeal British Court Orders Over Seizure Of $9bn

“I think the government is going in the right direction. First, we must know what transpired because fraud vitiates all judgements. If the judgement has been made and an allegation of fraud is established, the person has to refund the money.

“It doesn’t matter because fraud can be discovered at any time. And once information and evidence is concrete enough to prove fraud, then it validates the judgement. That’s the position of the law,” he said.

Speaking further, he said the contract purportedly entered into the country was nothing but a fraud.

According to him, the contract violates the Public Procurement Act and other well-known laws of the country.

“Section 2 to 3 of the Infrastructural Regulatory Commission stipulates that such concession must be approved by the Federal Executive Council. It is a fundamental issue that can be raised anywhere that touches on fraud.

“If it is not brought to the Federal Executive Council, why was it not brought. These are the questions to ask on the foundation of the contract. And if the foundation of the contract is founded on fraud, it cannot stand,” he said.

Aondoakaa’s comment comes three weeks after the British judge gave the green light for the Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) company to seize more than $9 billion in assets from the Nigerian government over a failed natural gas deal.

The private firm — widely reported to be registered in the British Virgin Islands — was founded by two Irish business partners for the purpose of executing the 2010 deal with the Federal government.

Another SAN Stripped Of Rank

The Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) on Tuesday stripped Ajibola A. Aribisala of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Ajibola A. Aribisala stripped of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)

This is the second time a member of the Inner Bar would lose the prestigious title that makes the holder the first among equals during court proceedings.

The first SAN to lose his title was a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, who was stripped of the title on October 7, 2010 by the same LPPC.

Mr. Aondoakaa was stripped of the title after his response to a petition written against him by a non-governmental organisation, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR).

A statement from the Media Aide of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ahuraka Isah, said the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and Secretary, Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, Sunday Olorundahunsi communicated the decision at the end of the Committee’s meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.

The LPPC’s decision was taken following a petition by Fidelity Bank against Mr. Aribisala and after hearing his response to the petition, the Committee decided that he should be suspended from using the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

By this decision, Mr Aribisala loses all privileges attached to the rank pending the outcome of the Court case impeding investigation by the Sub-Committee set up by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee.