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Nigeria to pay UK court $200 million to hear appeal in $9.6 billion P & ID lawsuit
ON Thursday, a United Kingdom Court permitted Nigeria to appeal the enforcement of the Commercial Court judgement in London granting Process & Industrial Developments, P&ID authority to seize assets worth $9 billion from the Nigerian government.
The Nigerian government had requested that the court issue a stay of execution of the arbitral award and also an appeal against the enforcement of the judgement.
However, the judge granted Nigeria’s request for a stay on any asset seizures while its legal challenge is been awaited, but ordered it to pay $200 million to the court within 60 days to ensure the stay.
The legal battle between the Nigerian government and P&ID over the failed 2010 gas supply deal to develop a gas-processing plant is coming to a hilt. Currently, Nigeria alleges the contract was enmeshed in corruption and the project was never meant to succeed but P&ID denies any wrongdoing.
On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari in an address to the UN General Assembly in New York had described the P & ID contract as a scam to defraud the country.
“We are giving notice to international criminal groups by the vigorous prosecution of the P&ID scandal attempting to cheat Nigeria of billions of dollars,” he said.
Nigeria’s attorney general Abubakar Malami in the interview had stated that he was considering using the fraud allegations in court as part of its defence
A federal high court in Abuja had convicted representatives of the company of economic sabotage and ordered the forfeiture of assets linked to the firm.
The judgement of the high court formed part of the grounds of the country’s lawsuit.
Grace Taiga had been accused of facilitating the controversial contract and securing gratification to the tune of over $20, 000 while she served at the ministry in 2010.
Nigerian prosecutors said they had evidence of two bank transfers totalling $20,000 made by Dublin-based Industrial Consultants (International) Ltd – part of the P&ID group of companies. The payments, in 2017 and 2018, were made from an Industrial Consultants account at AIB and were purportedly for “medical costs”.
She is yet to be released on bail after failing to meet the bail conditions which involved paying a bail bond of N10 million and providing sureties resident in Abuja who are public servants not below directorate cadre.