INTERNATIONAL Criminal Police Organisation, INTERPOL, has launched investigation into the lingering contract litigation by Macobarb International against Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company, NLNG, and two principal officials, one now retired.
Interpol’s intervention comes at the instance of Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, based on a petition by Macobarb and its owner, Shedrack Ogboru, following reluctance by the police to honour a court order to investigate allegations of breach of contract raised by the petitioner against NLNG and the two others.
The failure of the police to investigate and submit reports on the complainants’ claim in line with Rivers State Criminal Prosecution Law had stalled trial in the charge brought against NLNG, its former Managing Director, Tony Atah, and Akachukwu Nwokedi, Head of Legal.
A Port Harcourt Magistrate’s Court had on March 15, 2022, ruled that the Rivers State Police Command, which had begun investigation following a court order, and had asked the court for repeatedly extension of time to conclude the investigation, should have submitted its report to enable trial begin.
Chief Magistrate Blessing Vic-Jumbo, consequently, struck out the case with a proviso to reopen trial when the police submits the much needed report, citing that the condition for private prosecution was that the police must enter an indictment after an investigation.
The NLNG team had on July 8, 2022, in a twist of forces arrested Ogboru on perjury charges for alleged false allegation by a team from the Legal Unit of the Police Force Headquarters, Abuja, lawyers to Macobarb insisted their client remains the accuser, not accused, and that the order of the IG for Interpol to take over the investigation should rather be pursued.
Interpol officials were said to have arrived Port Harcourt and interfacing with relevant stakeholders mentioned in the court case to allow independent investigation to be completed, so the court could proceed, a development NLNG is said it’snot feeling comfortablewith.