The Federal Government has been urged to arrest and prosecute former government officials connected with the ill-fated Gas Plant project contract the country signed with an Irish firm, Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID).
The Executive Secretary, Anti-Corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative
(ARDI), Dr Dennise Aghanya gave the advice in a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
Aghanya, whose anti-graft outfit investigated Justice Walter Onnoghen, former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on fraud said the P&ID contract was a scam aided by some unpatriotic citizens to swindle the country.
A British court on Aug.6 granted approval for the firm to seize the country’s assets abroad worth US 9.6 billion dollars.
The company was awarded US 6.6 billion dollars in an arbitration decision over a failed project to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, during late president Umar Yar’Adua’s tenure in office.
“It is heart-breaking to read Reno Omokri, former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan attributing the failure of Nigerian Government to act promptly and avert this development to failure of leadership by Buhari’s administration.
“At what point should we as concerned citizens separate politics from leadership so that we can build an ideal society for ourselves?
“The administration that initiated the contract should have guided it to a logical conclusion if it was well-intended in the first place,’’ he said.
Aghanya further said the narrative by Omokri alleging that Jonathan sent Diezani Allison-Madueke, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and some other officials to Ireland to negotiate an out of court settlement and to later abandon such negotiation showed the extent of dereliction of duty.
“When would government officials in this country realise that the interest of the country should come first in all official negotiations?
“ It has become a norm for persons in positions of authority, either as civil servants or political appointees to see public offices as means of amassing wealth rather than rendering service for public interest.
“We, therefore, encourage the president to beam his searchlight on the activities of officials of past administrations without blinking.
“The president must act without consideration to political affiliation as his fight against corruption takes enters the second phase in the schedule of this government.
“In Republic of China, economic sabotage attracts death penalty and we should begin to contemplate that level of stiff penalty in this country.
“We wish to commend the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for his stance that the judgement by the British Commercial must be set aside because of the dire consequences of allowing the implementation of such judgement on the country’s economy.