US Court to allow Buhari govt access to Goodluck Jonathan, Patience’s bank accounts
Justice Luma Schofield of the New York Federal High Court, US, has granted Nigerian Government’s request to access 10 bank accounts of former politicians, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, and his wife Patience.
US based legal website, Law360 reports that District Judge Schofield, ordered the banks to allow the President Muhammadu Buhari government access to sundry account details of officials listed in its subpoena request.
According to the judge, the move would enable the Nigerian government prove its claim that the $9.6 billion arbitration was obtained by Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) by fraud.
In a bid to overturn a $9.6, judgement by a UK court, Nigeria government had last month asked the federal court in New York for permission to access information about transactions involving Jonathan and his wife and others.
The transaction with Process & Industrial Developments Ltd., was carried during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan
The Nigerian government is looking for any chance to prove that the 2010 gas supply arrangement was a sham and annul the giant penalty it incurred.
The matter escalated last August when a UK judge ruled that P&ID could enforce an arbitration tribunal’s 2017 ruling, now totaling $9.6 billion including interest, which found Nigeria breached the agreement.
Nigeria and Malami’s application seeking to access the bank details of the former political office holders was filed by Alexander Pencu, a partner of Meister Seelig & Fein LLP, attorneys.
The applicants said the information being sought are meant for use in “ongoing foreign criminal investigations and criminal proceedings in the Federal Republic of Nigeria (the “Nigerian Proceedings”).”
“The requested discovery will assist applicants in the Nigerian Proceedings to investigate and prosecute individuals and entities that participated in, and were enriched by, P&ID’s fraudulent scheme,” it added.
The applicants also sought the intervention of Citibank, or any of its officers to testify in the case.
Other former political office holders 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, as well as a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke.
Mr Pencu listed the banks involved to include “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”).