By Ayodele Oluwafemi
A former Director of Legal Services in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Grace Taiga, was, on Friday, remanded in prison custody by an Abuja High Court over her alleged involvement in the signing of the controversial gas supply contract between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and an Irish firm, Processes and Industrial Development (P&ID).
Mrs Taiga was remanded in Suleja prison pending the hearing and determination of her bail application.
This was coming barely 24 hours after the conviction of P&ID by the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, Abuja on economic sabotage, money laundering and tax evasion amongst others.
Mrs Taiga was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on eight-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and gratification among others.
The anti-graft commission accused her of signing the aforementioned deal agreement without obtaining approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as required by law.
However, she pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Sequel to her plea to not guilty, counsel to the EFCC, Bala Sanga, prayed that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending the commencement of trial, while pleading for adjournment to enable the prosecution call its witnesses to prove the charge against the defendant.
However, her lawyer, Ola Olanipekun, SAN, asked the court to grant her bail, which was turned down by the court.
The trial judge, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, ordered that she be remanded in Suleja prison pending the hearing and determination of the bail application.
The matter has been adjourned till September 25 for the hearing of her bail application.