Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has adjourned hearing in the bail application of former Director, Legal Services of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Grace Taiga to September 25
He had ordered her to be remanded in prison custody over offences connected with the controversial P&ID $9.6bn judgment.
Justice Adeniyi sitting in Apo division of the court ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Suleja Prison in Niger State.
Taiga was arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on an eight-count charge to which she pleaded not guilty.
She was accused of among others, receiving bribe through her offshore bank account for signing, alongside the then Minister of Petroleum Resources, the late Rilwan Lukman, the Gas Supply Processing Agreement between the Process and Industrial Developments Limited and the Federal government of Nigeria, through the Ministry on January 11, 2019.
In addition, the defendant was also accused of violating various laws by entering into the GSPA without prior approval by the Federal Executive Council and a certificate of no objection to the contract from the Bureau of Public Enterprise.
The charges were in connection with the controversial Gas Supply Processing Agreement which led to the recent $9.6bn judgment given against Nigeria and in favour of Process and Industrial Developments by a British court.
According to the prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, Taiga was said to have signed as Nigeria’s witness to the GSPA while the then minister presiding over the ministry, the late Dr. Rilwan Lukman, signed as Nigeria’s representative.
Shortly after her plea was taken, her lawyer, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), pleaded with the court to allow her to be remanded in the custody of the EFCC.
The defence counsel predicated his request on the grounds that his client was suffering from hypertension and diabetes.
However, the prosecution counsel, Sanga, opposed the request, insisting that her proper place of custody after arraignment was the prison
The judge agreed with the prosecuting counsel and ordered her remand in prison.
Justice Adeniyi equally ordered that the defendant be accorded proper medical treatment in custody pending the hearing and determination of her bail application