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EFCC insists on presentation of death certificate in Grace Taiga’s trial



On Wednesday, January 24, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has maintained its insistence on the production of the death certificate for Grace Taiga, a former director of legal services at the petroleum ministry, before an Abuja High Court.

Taiga is standing trial over allegations related to bribery in the controversial Gas Supply Processing Agreement (GSPA) between Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The EFCC filed an amended 13-count charge against Taiga, accusing her of receiving a bribe through her offshore bank account in connection with signing the controversial GSPA.

The commission also alleged that she violated various laws by entering into the agreement without prior approval from the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and a certificate of no objection from the Bureau of Public Enterprise (PBE).

Tiaga was first arraigned on Sept. 20, 2019, before the court in the case marked FCT/HC/CR/504/19, on an eight-court charge.

The EFCC first amended the charge against the defendant on Oct. 3, 2020, to 11 counts, and later further amended it to 13 counts, on Jan. 10, 2021.

Grace Tiaga’s trial over alleged corruption

The prosecution called eight witnesses to testify against the defendant and closed its case on Feb. 27, 2023, after which the court directed Tiaga to open her defense.

At the hearing of the case on Nov. 4, 2023, counsel for Taiga, Daniel Alumun, told the court that the defendant died on August 1, 2023, at a hospital in Abuja.

Alumun submitted a “Hospital Death Declaration” letter from Primus International Super Speciality Hospital, Karu New Extension, Abuja, notifying the court of Taiga’s demise and requesting the dismissal of the charges.

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However, EFCC counsel Mohammed Hussain insisted on the production of a death certificate in compliance with the law before dismissing the case. Justice Olukayode Adeniyi directed that a death certificate be presented before the court, after Taiga’s counsel informed the court that the death certificate was not yet available.

Justice Adeniyi adjourned the matter until March 6, requesting a further report on the death certificate.

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