NLNG, Officials to Stand Trial over Alleged Contract Scam
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigeria LNG (NLNG) Limited and two of its officials are set to stand trial over alleged irregularities on a contract awarded to one of its contractors, Macobarb International Limited.
For context, NLNG’s immediate past Managing Director, Mr Tony Attah, and General Counsel and Company Secretary, Akachukwu Nwokedi, were dragged to court by Macobarb International Limited, over alleged “criminal culpability in irregularities relating to a contract awarded to the contractor.”
Managing Director of Macobarb International Limited, Mr Shedrack Ogboru, had complained before the court that Contract No.B130142PPI was awarded to his company for the sum of N95.47 billion by the Nigeria LNG Limited, was unjustly terminated due to irregularities from the company.
Mr Ogboru in suit number PMC/1015/CS/2021 accused NLNG’s former Managing Director, Tony Attah, and its General Counsel and Company Secretary, Akachukwu Nwokedi of malicious disposition, bad faith, abuse of office and false representation in the handling of the issues surrounding the contract.
Delivering her ruling on Monday, the Chief Magistrate, Blessing Vic-Jumbo, dismissed the preliminary objection raised by the counsel to NLNG, for lack of merit.
Citing other cases relating to section 419, upon which this case was filed, she said the objection was misconceived as the points of objection were not founded on facts, stressing that the defendants could not prove that the case was not in compliance with the law on a private prosecution.
She also announced Thursday, February 24, 2022, for mention of the case.
Reacting to the court ruling, Counsel to Macobarb International Limited, Mr Morrison Uzoma, said it was a victory for the long-suffering and downtrodden indigenous contractor.
Mr Uzoma disclosed that the peaceful disposition of his client, Shedrack Ogboru, triggered him to explore all avenues of amicable resolution of the matter, but resorted to the court when NLNG and its officials blocked all such peaceful avenues.
“The court is the last hope of the common man. My client is a peace-loving person and had exhausted every avenue for a peaceful resolution. They (NLNG) blocked all. Today, the court has said they should come to court and answer.”