The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Sunday explained why the Federal Government at a point decided to negotiate with Process and Industrial Developments Limited, despite being aware that the contract for which a United Kingdom court had ordered the firm to seize $9.6bn in Nigerian assets was fraudulent.

Malami who spoke at a press conference in Abuja said the government took the decision because, at the inception of the present administration, there was already an award and the timeline for government to appeal had elapsed.

Malami spoke at a press conference in Abuja.

He said since the previous government of the Peoples Democratic Party did not appeal, the option left for the administration as of the time was to negotiate, despite its reservations about the contract.

He also said the previous administration and the lawyers it hired should be blamed for the court case instituted on the matter in a Nigerian court, which was struck out due to lack of diligent prosecution.

“Even if, indeed, any case was struck out, it was out at a time when lawyers engaged by the previous administration were in charge,” he said.

On ongoing investigation into the matter, which he described as intensive and extensive, Malami said there was no limitation on who can be invited for questioning by the relevant security agencies.

He said those to be probed include those who were involved in drafting and signing of the agreement, conduct, trial and “other personalities of interest.”