Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has been allegedly indicted in a deal associated with the August 1, 2016 modified reconcession agreement of Ajaokuta Steel Company of Nigeria (ASC).
Kogi State born activist and legal practitioner, Barr. Natasha Hadiza Akpoti who has continually decried the mismanagement of the steel company, alleged in an open letter to Nigerians, entitled: “Corrupt Practices Surrounding Ajaokuta And Itakpe” that the former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke and current Minister of Steel and Solid Mineral Kayode Fayemi were also culpable.
Barr. Akpoti further alleged that “Obasanjo’s washed hands are still very dirty.”
She revealed that while Nigerians are deceived into believing we are still dealing with “Indians, Gov. Bello Yahaya of Kogi state knows who the real owner of GINL is.”
She said that even though the Ajaokuta steel is a federal project, I urge the Governor to act fast.
The Legal practitioner disclosed that the country had a good chance to reclaim both ASCN and NIOMCO, Itakpe based on unequivocal evidence but that the activities of one ‘Alhaji’, PwC and Adoke has made it impossible.
It would be recalled that on August 1, 2016, the federal government signed a modified re-concession agreement with an Indian firm, Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, GINL which led to Nigeria reclaiming the ASCN and the National Iron Ore Mining Company, NIOMCO, Itakpe.
According to Akpoti however, the August 1, signing ceremony appeared to be a flash in the pan as Nigerians were made to believe what happened then was nothing but the truth.
She alleged that the Minister of Steel and Solid Mineral, Dr. Kayode Fayemi lied to President Buhari and Nigerians that the country had no evidence against GINL in the London Court of Arbitration.
She further stated that Fayemi told Nigerians that “Nigeria already agreed that we were liable to pay somewhere in the region of $500 to $700m to GINL as estimated by BPE etc…”, and since Nigeria couldn’t afford that, it was agreed to give Itakpe back to the GINL in compensation for 7 years.
“Like Halliburton and Malabu oil scandals, Ajaokuta and Itakpe suffered greatly in the hands of Adoke who happens to be a son ofItakpe.
“One would have expected utmost care in executing his duties as the then Attorney General of Nigeria and lead representative of Nigeria at the Arbitration proceedings instituted in the London Court of International Arbitration by the GINL against Nigeria on the termination of Ajaokuta and Itakpe concessions by the late President Yar’Adua administration. But, he betrayed Nigeria. How?
“Nigeria had a very good chance of winning the arbitration case against the Indians as there were tons of evidence mainly from Inuwa Magaji’s report amongst others.
“GINL feared the anticipated lose and engaged Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) to help them ‘work’ victory out through Nigeria’s corridors of power.