The Federal Government has revealed that the bank guarantee of $200 million placed with a United Kingdom court to secure a stay on asset seizures of up to $9 billion related to the case against an Irish firm, Process, and Industrial Development (P&ID), has not been paid.
P&ID, a firm based in the British Virgin Islands, won a $6.6 billion arbitration award against the Nigerian government after the 2010 gas project collapsed.
The award accrued interest since 2013 and is now worth more than $9 billion.
According to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who spoke on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, the Federal Government has filed an application for the variation of the order by a high court in London.
He maintained that the ruling which would have converted the arbitration award and see P&ID seize the government assets has been appealed, including the ruling for conditional lodgement of the said amount.
“Nigeria has not paid and we filed an application for the variation of the order to allow us perhaps to consider the possibility of posting a bank guarantee against posting cash deposit.
“The order for the deposit for such amount of money and the appeal component is being considered at the superior court of record, but one thing I want to place on record is that Nigeria has not paid the amount in contention and has challenged the order as it relates to the posting of cash deposits,” Mr. Malami stated.
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The Justice Minister also stressed that the Federal Government has succeeded in putting up a case that the conditional lodgement of such amount should now be reviewed, a move he said, is being considered at the appellate level.
Stressing further, Mr Malami gave insight on what the Federal Government has done to ensure that such errors are not committed in subsequent deals.
Mr Malami said that a repeat of that will not occur in the Buhari-led Federal Government, as moves to tighten the processes have been developed and will be implemented henceforth.
“The first thing that has been done is to ensure that there are consequences for wrongdoing and those elements in respect of which investigations have been concluded, were charged, arraigned before the court and convicted.
“As well, we have taken steps to tighten our processes with particular reference to ensuring that things are done rightly; if a company is coming to establish a project in Nigeria, relevant associated permits and approvals must be obtained.
“If certain structures are being placed, there must be evidence of land acquisition, if an agreement is needed involving the government and its interest, that agreement must be allowed to pass through the process of vetting in the office of the Attorney General by the relevant departments and then if indeed the draft agreement is okayed, it has to pass through the Federal Executive Council for consideration, deliberation, and eventual approval before committing the government in the process,” the justice minister added.
The AGF also clarified that the Federal Government has secured a three-leg victory in the P&ID case and there is no iota of truth that the moves in response to overturn the judgment are slow.
Nigeria on September 3, secured a landmark victory in its pursuit to overturn a $10 billion judgment awarded against it in a case against P&ID in a failed gas deal in 2010.