Over A $25 Million Power Project, Interpol Moves To Extradite Indians

After a legal firm, LAWLEAD Consult, petitioned the Inspector-General of Police three years ago to look into allegations of criminal breach of trust and forgery against an Indian company regarding a $25 million transformer deal, the suspects have not responded to the invitation from the Nigeria Police through INTERPOL, which has led to legal action to prosecute them in Nigeria.

The law firm, represented by Abubakar Yahaya Ndakene, demanded that Jitendra Mamtora, the chairman of Transformers and Rectifiers (Indian) Limited, and Satyen Mamtora, the managing director, be investigated to address the accusations made against them and their business.

According to information obtained by Swift Reporters, the problem arose when Transformers and Rectifiers (Indian) Limited, under the direction of P-NEC Nigeria Ltd., its Nigerian agent, successfully negotiated a $25 million contract to sell transformers to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) as part of a World Bank-funded project.

It was discovered that the Indian firm had used the Nigerian firm to land the contract, but had neglected to pay the Nigerian counterpart the agreed-upon commission of roughly ten percent. This has led to a 2020 lawsuit between the two parties.

It was also discovered that, despite multiple invitations from INTERPOL to the Indian company and its executives, as well as their awareness of the ongoing legal dispute in Nigeria, the Indians chose not to appear in court and instead sent solicitors from India to observe the proceedings whenever the case was called.

However, in response, Jitendra and Satyen Mamtora were placed under red notice by INTERPOL following their investigation and receipt of the petition. This resulted in the former’s arrest in Italy.

L-R; Jitendra Mamtora and Sayten Mamtora

But Jitendra Mamtora moved to India following his detention in Italy, and the Indian INTERPOL informed INTERPOL Nigeria of his presence and asked that INTERPOL Nigeria use diplomatic channels to secure the suspect’s extradition.

Swift Reporters discovered that the Nigerian Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, promptly signed extradition requests and sent them to India to bring the accused back to Nigeria for a trial. This action was taken in response to that occurrence.

One of the complaints against the Indians by the petitioners is for alleged forgery of a court affidavit in Nigeria.

Regarding whether the Indian Company has received full payment for supplying the Transformers, the source went on to say that 90% of the contract amount has been paid to the Indian company, with the remaining 10% being retained and due to be collected after the contract is finished.

Nevertheless, the Police investigation and related lawsuits are currently stalling this, preventing TCN from paying 10% of the contract amount until the issues are fully resolved.

Meanwhile, the Indian suspects, through their Nigerian lawyers, have filed a fundamental rights suit claiming that their rights to personal liberty and freedom were infringed upon. The case comes up at the Federal High Court 10, sitting in Abuja, presided by Justice Evelyn Maha.

INTERPOL and the office of the attorney general of the federation are reportedly closely monitoring the matter ahead of the next hearing date of the extradition charge before the Federal High Court in Abuja, scheduled for 15th April 2024, where the two Indian suspects have personally applied to strike out the charges against them.

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