In a startling revelation, Mr. Umar Babangida, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), disclosed on Tuesday how high-ranking government officials allegedly facilitated the $9.6 billion scam involving Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Ltd.
Babangida, the 2nd prosecution witness in the trial of James Nolan, an Irish national linked to P&ID, made these revelations before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The EFCC had charged Micad Project City Services Ltd. and James Nolan as 1st and 2nd defendants in a case marked FHC/ABJ/CR/9/2022. Nolan, a P&ID director with British citizenship, was granted bail after pleading not guilty but later absconded, leading to a revocation of his bail and a bench warrant for his arrest.
Babangida testified that former President Muhammadu Buhari directed the EFCC to investigate the gas supply and processing agreement between the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and P&ID Ltd. dated Jan. 11, 2010. The investigation, initiated in response to a letter from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, uncovered signed agreements by late Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Rilwan Lukman, and late Mrs. Grace Taiga.
Further revelations by Babangida implicated Michael Quinn, an Irish citizen and P&ID owner, and his partner Brendan Cahill in operating about 30 companies registered in Nigeria, including Micad Project City Services Ltd. The investigation exposed financial irregularities, tax liabilities, and non-compliance with money laundering regulations by the accused companies.
Documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and other entities were obtained, revealing discrepancies in the companies’ financial activities. Babangida stated that these findings were forwarded to the EFCC Forensic Department for further analysis.
Mr. Temitope Erinomo, the 2nd prosecution witness and former Principal Complaint Officer at the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, corroborated the investigation’s off-site and on-site examinations of Micad Project City Services Ltd.
Justice Egwuatu adjourned the trial for further proceedings, anticipating insights from the EFCC Forensic Department’s analysis. The revelations underscore the depth of the alleged scam and raise questions about the involvement of government officials in facilitating fraudulent contracts to the detriment of Nigeria’s financial interests.