- It’s positive debt for Nigeria – Malami
By Ese Awhotu with agency report
A United Kingdom Court yesterday granted the Federal Government of Nigeria leave to appeal the judgment that asked Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) Limited to seize $9.6bn in Nigerian assets.
The UK Court in its ruling on Thursday also granted the Nigerian government’s application for a ‘stay of execution’ of the judgement debt.
The P&ID had secured the damages against Nigeria following a failed Gas Supply Project Agreement (GSPA) contract between it and the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
Recall that the contract for gas supply and processing (GSPA) was signed by the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua and P&ID , an Irish firm which resulted in the $9 billion judgement debt against Nigeria by a UK court.
The UK court found Nigeria guilty of failing to comply with the terms of the contract.
The Nigerian government filed a separate suit against P&ID’s global firm and its Nigerian subsidiary at a Nigerian court. This resulted in a court order for the Nigerian government to seize assets belonging to P&ID in Nigeria.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York this week, President Muhammadu Buhari described P&ID a fraudulent company hell bent on scamming Nigeria.
“We are giving notice to international criminal groups by the vigorous prosecution of the P&ID scam attempting to cheat Nigeria of billions of dollars,”Buhari said.
However, approving Nigeria’s request for a “stay of execution” will prevent P&ID, from enforcing the UK Arbitration Tribunal’s earlier judgment while this case is heard on appeal before the Court of Appeal.
Commenting on yesterday’s ruling, Attorney General Abubakar Malami said. “I am pleased with today’s development in the court and 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 Appeal, uncovering P&ID’s outrageous approach for what it is: a sham based on fraudulent and criminal activity developed to profit from a developing country.”
Recall that a Federal Capital Territory High Court had on Wednesday granted bail to a former director of legal affairs at Nigeria’s petroleum ministry, Grace Taiga, who was arraigned for her alleged involvement in the P&ID contract with Nigeria.
The court in a ruling said the prosecution failed in providing reasons why the defendant should not be granted bail.
Mrs Taiga had been accused of facilitating the controversial contract and securing gratification of over $20,000 while she served at the ministry in 2010.