P&ID: Court grants ex-petroleum ministry director N10m bail
High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Apo, Abuja, on Wednesday, granted a N10m bail to a former Director, Legal Services of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Grace Taiga, who faces criminal charges connected with the controversial P&ID $9.6bn judgment.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi had on September 20, 2019, ordered her remand in Suleja prison in Niger State after the defendant pleaded not guilty to the eight counts preferred against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The judge subsequently fixed Wednesday for the hearing of her bail application.
Ruling on her bail application moved by her lawyer, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), the judge said on Wednesday he had the discretion to grant bail to the defendant.
He then granted her bail in the sum of N10m which must be guaranteed by two sureties in like sum.
The prosecution had opposed the bail application. Justice Adeniyi, however, ruled that the prosecution failed to convince her not to grant the bail.
He directed that the sureties to be produced by the defendant must include public servants not below directorate level and must be resident in Abuja.
The sureties are to depose to an affidavit of means.
He directed that the defendant must not travel outside Nigeria without the court’s permission.
The prosecution accused her of among other charges, receiving a bribe through her offshore bank account in signing, alongside the then Minister of Petroleum Resources, the late Rilwan Lukman, the Gas Supply Processing Agreement between the Process and Industrial Development Limited and the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry on January 11, 2019.
She was also accused of violating various laws by entering into the GSPA without a prior approval by the Federal Executive Council and a certificate of no-objection to the contract from the Bureau of Public Enterprise.
The charges are in connection with the controversial Gas Supply Processing Agreement which led to the recent $9.6bn judgment given against Nigeria and in favour of Process and Industrial Development by a British court.
Taiga was said to have signed as Nigeria’s witness to the GSPA while the then minister presiding over the ministry, the late Dr Rilwan Lukman, signed as Nigeria’s representative.