In what appears to be a fresh twist to the ongoing drama surrounding the $9.6 billion judgement against Nigeria in a lawsuit by Process and Industrial Development, Nigerian billionaire businessman, Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma (retd), has said the gas project was originally his idea.
Danjuma, in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, said the founder of P&ID, Michael Quinn, was his consultant and that he allowed Quinn to use his funds and office space until he found out that Quinn also applied for the contract himself.
The retired army chief pointed out that one of his companies, Tita-Kuru Petrochemicals Limited, had spent $40 million preparing for the project, and it wasn’t Quinn who spent the money as he claimed.
Danujuma, who was a former Minister of Defence, explained that he was promised a share of P&ID in return for his initial investment but that reality dawned on him when he found that “my consultant was going to steal my project.”
He, however, added that he hadn’t heard from the company in years and that Quinn’s partner, Brendan Cahill, had yet to reply his letters even when he heard about the lawsuit.
Efforts by the magazine to get the reaction of P&ID were not successful as P&ID’s spokesperson declined to comment on Danjuma’s involvement or any other matters in this story, while Cahill didn’t respond to attempts to contact him directly.
P&ID had got a United Kingdom Court’s grant to seize $9.6 billion in Nigerian assets over the failed gas flaring project.
The project was said to be an offshoot of the plan by the Federal Government in 2008 to end gas flaring by using the gas being flared to generate electricity.