$9.6bn Verdict: FG Appeals $200m Security Deposit
The Federal Government has asked its lawyers to appeal the ruling of the Commercial Court in London that asked Nigeria to pay $200m security payment into the court’s account while granting request to stay execution in the $9.6bn award in favour of Process and Industrial Development Limited.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed who was among the high-powered team that represented the country in London disclosed this to reporters on Wednesday in Abuja.
He noted that the country has a good chance of being successful in its impending appeal “otherwise the Commercial Court would not have allowed the appeal.
“Please note that Nigeria will be able to demand a refund of the 250,000 GBP payment to P&ID where the government wins on the appeal. This fact is being hidden by those who have been spinning the London judgment in their own favour.
“On the $200m payment as a condition for the granting of the stay of execution, Nigeria has instructed its lawyers to seek the leave of the Court of Appeal to appeal against that payment.
“Nigerians should remain assured that the Federal Government is taking all necessary steps to strongly avail itself of all defences customarily afforded to sovereign states under the United Kingdom Sovereign Immunity Act to fight and upturn any enforcement of the award.
“In the words of Mr President at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York last week, we are giving notice to international criminal groups by the vigorous prosecution of the P&ID scam attempting to cheat Nigeria of billions of dollars.”
The Minister further added that it had succeeded in changing the false narrative being peddled by the P&ID both within and outside Nigeria by putting across strong evidence that the company is a fraud.
“For those who may still not understand the gravity of the judgment of the Commercial Court in London last week, let me say that had we lost our quest for a stay of execution and application to appeal in London last week, P&ID would by now be attempting to seize our assets all over the world.
“Remember they boasted before the judgment that they had started compiling a list of our assets which they would attach. But now, that’s an empty boast, thanks to the successes recorded in the court of law and the court of public opinion last week,” he added.
He disclosed that ahead of the trip, the team that comprised himself; the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Lamorde; and the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, set off to achieve three main objectives which appeared to be difficult.
The objectives, according to him, were to change the narrative, especially on the international stage, on the entire P&ID issue; apply for leave of the Commercial Court to appeal the judgment that recognised the arbitration award; and to seek a stay of execution on the UK judgment that recognised the award.
“First, we took London by storm, taking our case to international media outlets and Think Tanks like AP, AFP, Reuters, Bloomberg, BBC, Financial Times, The Economist, The African Confidential, Royal African Society and the Red Lions Chambers, a leading Barrister’s Chambers in London, among others.
“We also met a group of experts and stakeholders. Our message was simple: P&ID, a company without a physical address and no known investment anywhere in the world, set out to dupe Nigeria from day one, with the connivance of unpatriotic, corrupt and greedy Nigerians. The entire Gas Supply Processing Agreement, which P&ID entered into with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is nothing but a fraudulent contraption with no chance, or expectation, of success.
“We then said the unprecedented $9.6bn in arbitration award to P&ID constitutes an unreasonable reward to a company that has done nothing more than to engage in fraud and economic sabotage. This runs contrary to the course of justice and is capable of bringing harm and hardship to Nigeria, and indeed the wider region.”