$9.2bn P&ID Judgement:Legal Battles Begin As FG Lawyers Head For UK
A delegation of Federal Government officials have left Abuja on Saturday for the United Kingdom in continuation of efforts to quash a $6.2 billion arbitration award against Nigeria.
The award in favour of Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Limited has risen to about $10b with a daily interest accrual of over $1 million.
A British judge in August endorsed the award, granting the company the go-ahead to seize Nigeria’s assets worth $9 billion in the UK.
He, however, warned that the action must be carried out only after court vacation this month.
Tribune Online investigation disclosed that “a long list” of officials from relevant ministries and agencies like Federal Ministry of Justice, Finance, Petroleum Resources, security agencies and private sector legal practitioners were on the delegation.
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Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had told our sister publication, Nigerian Tribune that although the opportunity to appeal against the case at the arbitration tribunal was over, the Federal Government would attack the contract afresh on the basis of fraud.
On Thursday, a Federal High Court found P& ID and its directors guilty of an 11 count charge and order that the company be forfeited to the government.
Also on Friday, a former director of Legal Services in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was also charged for allegedly collecting bribe before signing the illegal contract.
According to Malami, Nigeria now has a judicial proof of fraud and corruption as a foundation of the relationship that gave rise to a purported liability in the arbitral award.
“A liability that is rooted in fraud and corruption cannot stand judicial enforceability. Nigeria now has a cogent ground for setting aside the liability.
“Where Nigeria is expected to review its strategy in view of unfolding developments as it relates to conviction of some of the suspects that have admitted fraud and corrupt practices in the transaction that gave rise to purported award.
“Nigeria is meeting with its legal consortium early next week in the UK in preparation for the case listed for 26th September,” he said.