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Alleged P&ID Bribery Scam: Court Strikes Out Grace Taiga’s Case Following Her Death

Posted by Amarachi on Wed 06th Mar, 2024 - tori.ng

In a ruling, Justice Adeniyi held that the defendant counsel having produced the death certificate the case against the defendant is hereby struck out.

Grace Taiga

Grace Taiga

The alleged fraud charge levelled against former Director of Legal Services in the Ministry of Petroleum, Grace Taiga, was on Wednesday, struck out by an FCT high court, following her demise.

Taiga was standing trial before Justice Olukayode Adeniyi on allegations bordering on bribery in the controversial Gas Supply Processing Agreement (GSPA) between Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

She was dragged before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an amended 13-count charge bordering on bribery, among others.

The anti-graft commission alleged that Taiga received bribe through her offshore bank account in signing the controversial GPSA.

EFCC further claimed that she violated various laws by entering into the Agreement without prior approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and a certificate of no objection to the contract from the Bureau of Public Enterprise (PBE).

She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The deceased was first arraigned on Sept 20, 2019 before the court on  eight-court charge.

The EFCC later amended the charge against the defendant on Oct. 3, 2020 to 11-count and later further amended it to 13-count on Jan. 10, 2021.

The prosecution called eight witnesses to testify against the defendant and closed its case on Feb. 27, 2023, then the court directed the defendant to open her defence.

At the hearing of the case on Nov 4, 2023, however, counsel for Taiga, Daniel Alumun, informed the court that the defendant passed on on August 1, 2023 at a hospital in Abuja.

Alumun tendered a letter, titled, “Hospital Death Declaration”, from Primus International Super Speciality Hospital, Karu New Extension, Abuja, to notify the court of the demise of Taiga.

In view of the unfortunate development, the defendant counsel, urged the court to dismiss the charge.

The EFCC counsel, Mr  Mohammed Hussain however, insisted that a death certificate must be brought before the court by the defence in compliance with the law before the court could dismiss the case.

Justice Adeniyi then directed that a death certificate be produced before the court.

He then adjourned the case until today for compliance with the law by the defence.

The defendant’s counsel presented the Certified true copy of the death certificate to the court.

He told the court that he had already served the prosecution as well as the court.

Alumun added that the death was registered on Feb. 29, 2024 with the National population Commission.

Responding, Hussain told the court that the defendant’s counsel served him with the certificate.

In the meantime, he urged the court to strike out the case against the defendant having served with the death certificate.

In a ruling, Justice Adeniyi held that the defendant counsel having produced the death certificate the case against the defendant is hereby struck out. (NAN)



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