Nigeria has been granted a stay of execution of the judgment that gave Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) the right to claim $9.6 billion in Nigerian assets.
However, the stay of execution is premised on a condition.
The Details: Nigeria has been told to make a security payment of $200 million to the court within 60 days pending the determination of the appeal filed by the Federal Government against the judgement by the British court.
[READ MORE: $9bn fine is a scam – Federal Government ]
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), who is currently in London, confirmed this development.
“Stay of execution granted subject to payment of $200 million security payment to court pending the determination of the appeal the leave for which has been granted by the commercial court. Application for leave to appeal against the award and enforcement of the award is granted,” he said.
Malami noted that the legality of depositing $200 million in 60 days could be challenged.
“The steps we will consider are to study the ruling and act in a way beneficial to the interest of the nation. We will study the court rulings, exercise the right of appeal and consider the legal options available at our disposal as it relates to the payment of $200m in view of the 60 days window stipulated by the court.”
The Minister of Justice said he was pleased with the judgement and looked forward to a positive resolution of the court judgement.
“I see this as a positive resolution that constitutes an important step in the government‘s efforts to defend itself in a fair and just process.
“We look forward to challenging the UK Commercial Court’s recognition of the Tribunal’s decision in the UK Court of Appeals, uncovering P&lD’s outrageous approach for what it is: a sham based on fraudulent and criminal activity developed to profit from a developing country,” he added.
The Backstory: As earlier reported by Nairametrics in recent articles, P&ID was awarded $6.6 billion in an arbitration decision over a failed project to build a gas processing plant in the Southern Nigerian city of Calabar. With the accumulated interest payments, the sum now tops $9 billion, which amounts to 20% of Nigeria’s foreign reserves.
The firm had initiated moves to identify the Nigerian assets that could be seized, and it might include the country’s oil cargoes.