The Federal Government will appeal the order of a UK commercial court awarding 200 million US dollars conditional payment for granting stay of execution in a judgment debt against Nigeria over a botched gas contract.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the federal government delegation’s trip to London and the Sept. 26 ruling of the UK court.
“On the 200 million US dollars 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.
“Please note, gentlemen, that Nigeria will be able to demand for a refund of the 250,000 GBP payment to P&ID where the government wins on the appeal.
“This fact is being hidden by those who have been spinning the London judgment in their own favour,” the minister said.
The UK Commercial Court had granted a stay of execution of a 9.6 billion dollar judgment debt made against Nigeria in favour of an Irish company, Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID).
The court which also granted the government request for leave to appeal the decision of the court, however, ordered Nigeria to pay the sum of 200 million US dollars into the Court Funds Office within 60 days of the date of the order.
It also ordered the government to make a payment in the sum of 250,000 GBP, representing P&ID solicitors advance costs, within a period 14 working days.
The minister reassured Nigerians that the government was taking all necessary steps to avail itself of all defence customarily afforded to sovereign states under the UK Sovereign Immunity Act to fight and upturn any enforcement of the award.
He said federal government had succeeded in changing the false narrative being peddled by P&ID both within and outside Nigeria by putting across strong evidence that the company is nothing but a fraud.
“Without being immodest, I can say categorically that we achieved all three objectives. First, we took London by storm, taking our case to international media outlets and Think Tanks like AP, AFP, Reuters, Bloomberg, BBC, Financial Times, The Economist, The African Confidential, Royal African Society and the Red Lions Chambers, a leading Barrister’s Chambers in London, among others.
“We also met a group of experts and stakeholders. Our message was simple: P&ID, a company without a physical address and no known investment anywhere in the world, set out to dupe Nigeria from day one, with the connivance of unpatriotic, corrupt and greedy Nigerians.
“The entire Gas Supply Processing Agreement (GSPA), which P&ID entered into with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is nothing but a fraudulent contraption with no chance, or expectation, of success,” he said.
The minister thanked the Nigerian media for its largely objective and patriotic reportage of this whole issue, in spite of the attempts by the desperate P&ID to muddy the waters.