According to multiple sources, Grace Taiga, a former Nigerian official at the centre of a massive corruption scandal involving the British Virgin Islands-based company Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID), died in September 2023 at the age of 75.
Grace Taiga served as Director of Legal Services at the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum Resources from 2004 to 2010. During that time, she was key in negotiating a gas supply and processing agreement (GSPA) between P&ID and the Nigerian government. The GSPA, signed in 2010, granted P&ID exclusive rights to build and operate a gas processing plant in Nigeria.
In 2012, P&ID filed an international arbitration claim against Nigeria, alleging that the government had breached the GSPA by failing to provide the necessary infrastructure for the gas processing plant. The arbitration tribunal awarded P&ID $9.6 billion in damages, which was later increased to $11.4 billion with interest.
In 2022, a London court set aside the damages award, ruling that it had been obtained by fraud. The court found that P&ID had bribed Nigerian officials, including Taiga, to secure the GSPA and to win the arbitration case.
Taiga was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2019 and charged with money laundering and fraud. She was released on bail and was on trial at the time of her death.
Taiga’s death is a significant development in the P&ID scandal. She was one of the few people with firsthand knowledge of the negotiations that led to the GSPA and the arbitration proceedings that followed. Her death makes it more difficult to hold those responsible for the scandal accountable.
Implications of Taiga’s Death
Taiga’s death has several implications for the P&ID scandal. First, it makes it more difficult to prosecute those involved in the bribery scheme. Taiga was a key witness in the EFCC’s case against several other Nigerian officials. Without her testimony, it will be more difficult to prove that P&ID bribed them.
Taiga’s death could lead to a renewed focus on the role of corruption in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The P&ID scandal is just one example of the many ways in which corruption has plagued the industry. Taiga’s death could prompt the Nigerian government to take steps to address the root causes of corruption in the oil and gas sector.