The Federal Capital Territory High Court has granted bail to a former director of legal affairs at Nigeria’s petroleum ministry, Grace Taiga, who was arraigned for alleged involvement in the controversial Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) contract with Nigeria.
The court in a ruling on Wednesday said the prosecution failed to provide sufficient reasons why the defendant should not be granted bail.
Mrs Taiga had been accused of facilitating the controversial contract and securing gratification of over $20,000 while she served at the ministry in 2010.
The contract between Nigeria and P&ID, an Irish firm, resulted in a $9 billion judgement debt against Nigeria by a court in the United Kingdom.
The UK court found Nigeria guilty of failing to comply with the terms of the contract.
The Nigerian government filed a separate suit against P&ID’s global firm and its Nigerian subsidiary at a Nigerian court. This resulted in a court order for the Nigerian government to seize assets belonging to P&ID in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari also described the 2010 contract as an outright scam on Tuesday at the UN.
On Wednesday, the FCT High Court where Taiga had been arraigned granted her bail with a bond of N10 million and two sureties in like sum.
The sureties must be resident in Abuja and should deposit affidavit of means before the court.
The sureties must also be public servants not below directorate cadre
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, however, ruled that it would not make any order for Taiga to submit her international passport because of her health condition.
The court said Mrs Taiga should nonetheless not leave the country without first informing the court.
She is also expected to inform her sureties if she has any need to travel for her medication.
Taiga’s lawyer, Ola Olanikpekun, said the defendant has chronic diabetes and has battled high blood pressure among other illnesses.