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.