A United States Judge has granted the Nigerian government’s request to assess bank records of former President Goodluck Jonathan and some key officials of his government.
The request was for a subpoena on 10 US banks for information needed to prosecute government officials allegedly connected to British Virgin Island engineering firm, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) alleged bribery scheme and subsequent $9.6 billion arbitral claim.
The filings were done by Alexander Pencu, a partner of Meister Seelig & Fein LLP, attorneys for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of Nigeria, Abubakar Malami.
The affected banks were listed as follows; “Citibank, N.A. (“Citibank”) , Allied Irish Banks plc (“Allied Irish”), HSBC Bank USA (“HSBC”), Standard New York, Inc. (“Standard New York”), Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas (“Deutsche Bank”), J.P. Morgan Chase (“JPMorgan”), United Bank for Africa (“UBA”), Bank of Cyprus, Fortis Private Banking Singapore Limited (“Fortis”), and Standard Chartered International (USA) Ltd. (‘Standard Chartered”).
New York federal judge, Lorna Schofield who granted the request asked the affected banks to allow the Nigerian government access the information they need to prove their case.
Aside Jonathan and his wife, Patience Faka Jonathan, other former political office holders whose accounts are expected to be accessed by the Nigerian government include; former oil minister who is now late, Rilwanu Lukman; Diezani Alison-Madueke, and Allison Amaechina Madueke; former attorney general and minister of justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke.
Others named in the subpoena are Taofiq Tijani; Grace Taiga; Mohammad Kuchazi; one Michael Quinn, who died in 2014; James Nolan; Adam Quinn; and Ibrahim Dikko.
It is also speculated that some officials of the banks might testify in the case. Nigeria’s chances of overturning the $9.6 billion arbitration award lie on proving the 2010 gas supply arrangement was a sham designed to fail by P&ID and government officials.