Documents seen by SaharaReporters have revealed how a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, Mr Olasupo Shasore, obtained $2m from Process & Industrial Development Ltd, a British Virgin Island engineering firm, to frustrate a case against Nigeria at a court in London, United Kingdom.
P&ID Ltd had won a $9.6bn arbitration against the Nigerian Government over a 2010 gas supply deal that went sour.
The court in London had ordered Nigeria to forfeit assets totalling $9.6bn as compensation for the engineering firm if the country was unable to prove its case.
According to the documents at the disposal of SaharaReporters, during the course of the EFCC’s investigations, Shasore was paid $2m for his involvement in the first and second stages of the arbitration.
To achieve this target, he concealed his involvement in the case from his own firm, Ajumogobia & Okeke but conducted the proceedings covertly through a separate firm, Twenty Marina, which had no background in litigation and was used to provide secretarial services.
Shasore, it was discovered, made payments of $100,000 each to Mrs Adelore and Mr Oguine, who were senior lawyers for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation at the time.
The payments were said to have been made in a bid to purchase the silence of Adelore and Oguine in relation to Shasore’s conduct of the arbitration.
A source privy to how the whole drama panned out, told SaharaReporters that Shasore’s conduct of the first two stages of the arbitration was totally unacceptable.
“Based on these payments, Mr Shasore was clearly dishonest and corruptible.
“Following the election of President Muhammadu Buhari into the office and the transfer of the conduct of the arbitration to the Ministry of Justice for the liability phase, Shasore has refused to meet with the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and complained that it was “unacceptable and unconscionable to liaise with the AGF’s office on the matter as he had always liaised with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources since the commencement of the proceedings.
“He chose not to seek any disclosure, to accept all material aspects of Mr Quinn’s witness evidence and did not seek to cross-examine anyone at P&ID on the key issue in the case: whether P&ID could and would have performed the GSPA.
“In light of the indicators of fraud listed above, the most likely explanation for this is that Mr Shasore had entered into a dishonest arrangement with P&ID not to challenge its evidence or seek any disclosure with the inevitable result that Nigeria lost the case.”
In August 2019, the UK court declared that P&ID could take over assets from Nigeria totalling $9.6bn for the country’s breach of the deal between them.
The Nigerian Government have been adopting various strategies to have the ruling overturned including approaching the United States Government for bank details of officials believed to have been involved in the deal believed to have been designed to fail from the scratch.