The family of Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister, Rilwanu Lukman, has called on Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to apologise to them over his allegation that the late minister approved the Process and Industrial Development Limited deal, a report by TheCable said.
A 2010 contractual agreement between Nigeria and P&ID to build a natural gas-processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State, broke down irretrievably and the London Commercial Court, converting an arbitration decision to judgment, found Nigeria guilty of breach of contract.
Nigeria, in a frantic move to wriggle out of the judgment debt, filed a successful lawsuit at its own Federal High Court, which set aside the judgment of the UK court.
P&ID did not partake at the proceedings, which happened at the Lagos Federal High Court, alleging that the court lacked jurisdiction on the case.
The company's argument seems meritorious because as far back as 2016, parties agreed on UK as the venue for the arbitration which eventually took place in 2017, even though Nigerian arbitration laws were to apply.
Malami had in his witness statement filed at a court in the UK, accused the late Lukman of ordering his aide, Taofiq Tijani to “deliberately overlook” some lapses in P&ID.
According to Malami, Lukman went against the law in signing the P&ID agreement saying Odein Ajumogobia, the former Minister of State in the Petroleum Ministry, was in charge for gas deals.
However, in a letter to Malami, the late Lukman’s daughter, Ramatu Lukman, denied the allegation that her father fraudulently approved the P&ID deal.
She said, “It is despicable that you have engaged your witness statements to call into question our father’s integrity, years after his passing, on what appears to be only an ill-founded and opportunistic suspicion.
“Please convey a second to think about what you’ve done to the Rilwanu Lukman’s family, you owe us an apology.
“If this is something you think you are not up to then I am sorry to remind you of the divine curse and the anger of Allah (S.W.T.) against liars mentioned in SURAH AZZUMAR 39:3
“Surely Allah will judge between them in that wherein they differ. But Allah guide not such as are false and ungrateful.”