Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) has given Nigeria a 14-day ultimatum to pay a $250,000 cost awarded by a United Kingdom court. P&ID noted that Nigeria would not be able to appeal the $9.6billion judgement until the FG pays the amount.
According to The Punch, P&ID revealed that the FG must pay the said amount within 14 days before it could file an appeal against the $9.6billion judgement.
Justice Christopher Butcher of the London Commercial Court in his ruling on Thursday granted Nigeria’s request to stay of execution of the $9.6billion arbitral award on the condition that the FG must make a $200million security payment in its account within 60 days.
The stay of execution of the arbitral award would be valid pending the Federal Government’s appeal to the court’s earlier ruling.
The Judge also granted Nigeria a leave to file an appeal against the $9.6billion arbitral award.
P&ID alleges that the Thursday ruling in London was not a leave for the FG to appeal against the $9.6billion arbitral award, but for the FG to appeal against the enforcement of the award.
Here’s the statement by P&ID (as seen on Punch); “For background, today’s judgment granted the Nigerian government leave to appeal the UK court’s decision that it could be subject to asset seizures to enforce the arbitration award in favour of P&ID.
“It does not allow the government to appeal the award itself.
“As you’ll be aware, the High Court in the UK heard arguments in the case today, with the Nigerian government seeking a stay of asset seizures and leave to appeal the asset seizure decision.
“The court has ruled the government may appeal – if it meets the conditions that $250,000 must be paid to P&ID in costs within 14 days and $200m in security paid to the court within 60 days.”
The British firm further revealed that in the court session on Thursday, the Nigerian Government failed to raise its fraud allegations in the gas contract.
The Federal Government had following investigations noted that the contract was fraudulent. President Muhammadu Buhari had few days ago during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, stated that Nigeria would not allow international fraudsters like P&ID to defraud her citizens hard earned wealth.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had last week convicted P&ID and its Nigerian subsidiary, P&ID Nig. Ltd, of tax evasion, money laundering. The judge ordered the seizure of the British firm’s properties in Nigeria.
P&ID however noted that Nigeria had no evidence to prove its fraud allegation against it in court.
“The Nigerian Government’s recent media exercise to allege fraud against the P&ID turned out to be a red herring. Indeed, the Nigerian Government did not present any evidence to support Attorney General Malami’s ‘findings’ from his sham investigation.
“The Nigerian Government knows there was no fraud and the allegations are merely political theatre designed to deflect attention from its own shortcomings.”
“The court has ruled that the Nigerian Government must put up $200m to maintain a stay of execution whilst it pursues an appeal against enforcement of the now $9.6bn award in favour of P&ID.
“The Nigerian government will now have to put its money where its mouth is if it wants to avoid immediate seizure of assets.”
Jonathan Dennis is an Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He oversees the production and publication of stories on NaijaBuzz.News and on Naija Buzz News TV. The former banker left his banking job to join Naija Buzz News in 2019. He was briefly the head of the “Wetin Dey Happen” news team. Jonathan is a proud ‘Akwa-Ibomite’ from Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.