As the court hearing of the on-going legal battle between the Federal Government (FG) Nigeria and Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID) approaches, Nigerian delegates have departed to the U.K to quash the earlier judgment.
It was learnt that a team of high-powered government officials is in London ahead of September 26th court session in the case against P&ID.
The Delegates: According to reports, the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami; the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, on Saturday led the Government delegation to the U.K.
Other member of the delegation include the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.
While providing details on the impending court judgement, the Attorney General of the federation stated that the Federal Government was still considering all options in its efforts at upturning the judgment of the UK court. He also confirmed that the Nigerian delegation had left for the UK to discuss with the nation’s legal team.
“All cards are on the table, but it all depends on the one that has potency for setting aside the award having regards to the applicable law in the circumstances.
“No possibility is ruled out. The options available to us include the possibility of filing a new case and or using existing proceedings to seek relief of setting aside the award (of the contract). Nothing can be ruled out.” Malami stated.
While commenting further, Malami disclosed that although the U.K court had ruled that Nigeria should pay P&ID $9.6bn, however, it had yet to grant the approval for the seizure of Nigerian assets.
“What they (P&ID) did was to approach the conventional court for the enforcement of the award. The conventional court said it was not going to give an order for the enforcement of the order until they were heard.
“They had wanted an order ex parte without putting us on notice to attach (for seizure) our assets. But the court said it would have to hear from the other side (Nigeria) in the enforcement proceedings.
“The court fixed September 26 for the hearing of arguments by the parties to determine whether to allow for the enforcement or not to allow the enforcement.”
Recent Developments: Last week Thursday, an Abuja Federal High Court ordered the shutdown of operations and the forfeiture of the assets of P&ID Virgin Island and its Nigerian affiliate, P&ID Nigeria Limited on 11-counts charge.
The firms were alleged to have fraudulently obtained lands from the Cross River State Government in 2010 for the gas supply project agreement that resulted to the $9.6bn judgment debt on count one.
The firms admitted guilt to ‘count four’ which was a similar charge to ‘count three’, and pleaded guilty to count five, and count six which bordered on the charges of tax evasion.
A counter-motion: It was learnt that the Nigerian delegates are prepared to tender before the court evidence that the Gas Supply Processing Agreement signed in 2010, which led to the judgment of the British court, was rooted in fraud and corrupt practices.
It was further learnt that among the evidences the Nigerian delegates have prepared to present to before the court are EFCC’s investigative reports and last Thursday’s judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
“So, it is not about an appeal now. The court’s pronouncement as to what amount of money to be paid has been made by the court. They approached the court to allow them to attach Nigerian assets in fulfillment of the award that was granted. The court fixed September 26 for the entertainment of arguments as to whether or not it would allow the attachment of Nigeria’s assets.
“So, we are going to the British court to argue that they should not be granted the power to attach the assets. The only thing that can be of help to Nigeria in stopping the enforcement of the entire award is proof of corrupt practices as the basis for the arbitral award.
“So, we called for investigation as to the relationship between local partners’ component and international partners’ component.
“So, we have at our disposal proof that they sent money to Nigerian officials, and in return for the money that was sent to Nigerian officials, there was a compromise all through the creation of a fraudulent and deceitful agreement.” Malami Stated.
Agip shut oil facility in Bayelsa due to oil spillage, environmental pollution reported
Agip on Wednesday confirmed an oil leak, resulting in a shutdown.
The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has confirmed the shutdown of its Idu oilfields at Egbebiri settlement within Biseni in Yenagoa Local Government Area in Bayelsa, due to an oil spillage.
A Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) report on the incident said that the leakage at the facility could be traced to equipment failure due to a rupture at the wellhead.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Eni, the parent company of NAOC, in a response statement, said the facility was shut down to prevent further damage to the environment.
What Eni is saying
An Eni spokesperson on behalf of the Italian Energy firm, in a statement, said, “As soon as the incident was reported, we activated our oil spill response, shut in the well, and notified government regulatory agencies.
“The Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on 09/05/2021, with the participation of community representatives and the government regulatory agencies.
“The event occurred within the Company’s wellhead location which is paved and walled round. There is no significant third-party impact,” Eni stated.
Environmental Rights Group reports environmental degradation
An environmental rights group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), however, said that the incident which discharged crude and associated gas had severely polluted the environment.
The Non-Governmental Organisation said that a visit to the spill site showed pictorial evidence of the crude spreading beyond NAOC’s right of way as nearby vegetation were affected as a result of the crude impact.
The Head of Field Operations at ERA/FoEN, Mr Alagoa Morris, in a field report on the spill said the Idu fields was notorious for frequent spills caused by equipment failure.
He said, “The people of Egbebiri in Biseni kingdom have experienced several oil spills over the years. And all the oil spill incidents documented by the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) in this community environment have occurred as a result of equipment failure and on Wellheads.
“ERA/FoEN has had cause to visit the environment of Idu Well 5 and 11 located within the same place in the past and it has always been Idu Well 11 spewing crude oil into the environment.
“Available records from ERA/FoEN indicate that there have been previous oil spills from this particular Idu Well 11 operated by Agip. Before concluding this Field Report, ERA/FoEN confirmed that Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on Sunday, 9th May 2021.
“This is why the official Spill Reference No 2021/LAR/028/058 is indicated in this report; sourced from the JIV report. Cause of spill was attributed to equipment failure,” ERA/FoEN stated.
The report quoted a resident of the community simply identified as Georgie as saying that the spill incident of May 7 spilled oil from around 10 p.m till about 8 a.m the next day before the leak was stopped adding that the level of damage was enormous.
What you should know
It can be recalled that in a similar circumstance, Shell Petroleum Development Company reported an oil pipeline spillage at its Okordia-Rumekpe 14-inch crude truck line, discharging about 213 barrels of crude oil into the Ikarama community in Bayelsa State and polluting about 1.34 hectares of land.
This new leakage is the latest in a series of oil spillages by the multinational oil exploration and production companies, which has put them in conflict with the host communities.
Nigeria records system collapse during holidays
Nigeria’s national electricity grid collapsed on Wednesday morning.
The Nigerian grid has experienced a partial collapse, dealing a blow for stay at home Nigerians during the holidays.
This was confirmed in a statement by the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), as seen by Nairametrics.
What EKEDC is saying about the grid collapse:
“Dear customer, there is a partial system collapse on the National Grid. Our TCN partners are working to restore supply immediately. Please bear with us.”
According to latest reports, partial restoration of power is already occurring across the country.
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