UK court grants FG’s request for stay of execution on $9.6bn judgement debt

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A United Kingdom court, on Thursday granted the federal government leave to appeal against the enforcement of the judgment of a British Commercial Court which awarded an Irish company, Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) $9.6 billion over a failed contract with Nigeria.

Justice Christopher Butcher of the Commercial Court in London granted the Nigerian government a stay of execution of the fine pending an appeal.

But he also gave the government 60 days to make a $200-million security payment — and 14 days to pay running costs whose sum was not disclosed in court.

Justice Butcher said P&ID had the right to seize Nigerian assets should either of those deadlines be missed.

It would be recalled that a British Commercial Court had on August 16 awarded judgment in the sum of $9.6 billion against Nigeria over a failed contract between P&ID and the ministry of petroleum resources in 2010.

The court had in that judgment given the P&ID leave to seize Nigeria’s foreign assets to the tune of $9.6 billion.

For its part, the federal government argued that the entire Gas Supply and Processing Agreement (GSPA) signed between the ministry of petroleum and P&ID in 2010 was deliberately skewed to fail so as to benefit a syndicate that was out to extort Nigeria of its resources.

Nigerian government had insisted that it will explore all options to upturn the judgment.

Last week, the federal government arraigned two officials of P&ID at a Federal High Court, Abuja for economic sabotage, money laundering, tax evasion amongst others.

The two officials pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against them and were consequently convicted.

The court also ordered the forfeiture of assets belonging to P&ID to the federal government.

AFP, The Guardian

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