Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) has been paid the sum of £250,000 by the Nigerian Government as running cost.
The money was paid to P&ID on the order of Justice Christopher Butcher of the Commercial Court in London.
The Details: Recall that the Judge granted Nigeria a right to appeal the $9.6 billion judgement awarded in favour of P&ID over an alleged breach of a gas supply contract tagged Gas Supply Processing Agreement.
Nigeria was asked to pay £250,000 as running cost to P&ID within 14 days for the appeal to be granted.
The 14 days ultimatum ended today and Nigeria was able to meet it. The money was paid through the Central Bank of Nigeria.
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Confirming the series of events, Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami stated that the money was paid out of respect for the court.
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However, it was gathered that Nigeria also appealed against the same court order that demanded $200 million security payment be made into its account within 60 days as a condition for a stay of execution of the $9.6 billion judgment earlier given in favour of P&ID.
Running cost paid out of respect: Giving further details on the Government’s moves, Malami said the government appealed the order to pay $200 million into the court’s account and applied for a stay of execution. It also paid P&ID the £250,000 out of respect for the court.
“The $200 million security payment has not been paid. We have appealed against the order and we have also applied for a stay of execution of the order,” the Minister said.
Reacting to the development, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said lawyers had been directed to seek the leave of the Court of Appeal to appeal against the ruling of Justice Butcher.
Apart from the security deposit of $200 million, Mohammed said the government would seek a refund of the £250,000 running cost after the appeal succeeds. He also noted that the government’s delegation to London to appeal the judgement was successful.
“Please note that Nigeria will be able to demand a refund of the £250,000 to P&ID when the government wins the appeal. This fact is being hidden by those who have been spinning the London judgment in their own favour.
“On the $200 million 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 be 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,” Mohammed said.
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.