P&ID Scam: EFCC insists on death certificate for Grace Taiga

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) maintained its demand for the death certificate of the former Director of Legal at the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Grace Taiga, during the proceedings held on Wednesday.

On November 4, 2023, Daniel Alumun, the legal representative of Grace Taiga, informed the Federal Capital Territory High Court about his client’s demise. Justice Olukayode Adeniyi was presiding over the trial of Taiga, who faced charges related to bribery linked to the Gas Supply Processing Agreement between Process and Industrial Development and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Initially facing eight charges when first arraigned on September 20, 2019, in the case marked FCT/HC/CR/504/19, Taiga saw an escalation to 11 charges on October 3, 2020, and further amendments to a total of 13 on January 10, 2021.

In the revised 13-count charge, the EFCC accused Grace Taiga of accepting a bribe through her offshore bank account in connection with the controversial Gas Supply Processing Agreement (GPSA) signing. The agency alleged that Taiga violated various laws by entering into the GPSA without obtaining prior approval from the Federal Executive Council and a certificate of no objection to the contract from the Bureau of Public Enterprise.

Despite the charges, Taiga pleaded not guilty. The prosecution presented eight witnesses, concluding its case on February 27, 2023, after which the court instructed the defendant to present her defense on the adjourned date.

However, during the hearing on November 4, 2023, Taiga’s counsel, Alumun, informed the court about her passing on August 1, 2023. He urged the court to dismiss the case. The court adjourned the matter until Wednesday, but the EFCC’s counsel, Mohammed Hussain, expressed dissatisfaction and insisted on the production of Taiga’s death certificate.

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In response, Taiga’s counsel requested additional time to obtain the death certificate, explaining that it was not yet available. Hussain emphasized the legal requirement, stating, “My lord, the certificate must be brought to the court as stipulated by the law before any decision can be taken.”

Justice Adeniyi, responding to the developments, adjourned the proceedings until March 6, awaiting additional information regarding the death certificate.

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