Wahab Shittu, the lawyer to the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, has described the UK court’s verdict in the case against Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) as a victory for his client.
In a statement issued over the weekend, Shittu said the court’s decision showed the result of a detailed and thorough investigation done by the EFCC led by Mr Magu.
“It is a monumental landmark achievement occasioned by Magu’s hard work and leadership style.
“The judgment has indeed greatly relieved the country from the impending and disastrous effect that the execution of the $9.6b judgment plus interest, would have had on our fragile economy,” he said.
Shittu further stated that the decision shows that “rather than punish Mr Magu over his handling of the investigation, he should be given a heroic commendation for saving the country in a huge way”.
According to him, Magu should be celebrated rather than being vilified. “It is rather unfortunate that the handling of P&ID investigation forms part of the allegations against him which led to his suspension,” he added.
On January 31, 2017, a tribunal had ruled that Nigeria should pay P&ID $6.6 billion as damages, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest at 7 per cent.
Subsequently, the Federal Government approached the court to establish that the contract was awarded on illegal terms.
The statement read: “The decision once more shows that rather than punish Mr Magu over his handling of the investigation, he should be given a heroic commendation for saving the country in a huge way. Magu should be celebrated rather than being vilified. It is rather unfortunate that the handling of the P&ID investigation forms part of the allegations against him. Magu which led to his suspension.
“There is no gainsaying that the evidence relied on in arriving at the decision came from the EFCC under Mr. Magu. The English Judge was very satisfied with the way and manner the EFCC carried out its investigation when he held at paragraphs 253 and 254 of the judgment: “what occurred might have been the EFCC proceeding at its normal pace in the light of the resources allocated to it, the other inquiries it was conducting and conditions in Nigeria. By comparison, the position after August 2019 might be exceptional and prompted by the serious position Nigeria faced in the light of Butchers J’s decision on the enforcement application.”