The Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) has reacted to the ruling of the United Kingdom Commercial and Arbitration Court which on Thursday in London, ordered a stay of execution of the $9.6 billion damages awarded against Nigeria pending the determination of an appeal by the Nigerian Government.
The court had asked the government to make a security payment of $200 million to it, while also granting Nigeria’s leave to file an appeal against the award.
However, P&ID, in a statement said it welcomed the ruling that required that Nigeria must pay $200 million before proceeding with the appeal.
“The Court has ruled that the Nigerian Government must put up $200 million to maintain a stay of execution whilst it pursues an appeal against enforcement of the now $9.6 billion award in favor of P&ID.
“The Nigerian Government will now have to put its money where its mouth is if it wants to avoid immediate seizure of assets,” P&ID said in the statement.
The company added: “The Nigerian Government’s recent media exercise to allege fraud against P&ID turned out to be a red herring. Indeed, the Nigerian Government did not present any evidence to support Attorney General Malami’s “findings” from his sham investigation.
“The Nigerian Government knows there was no fraud and the allegations are merely political theater designed to deflect attention from its own shortcomings.”
The court had in August affirmed the ruling of a London arbitration tribunal, which, in January 2017, awarded $6.6bn arbitral award against Nigeria over an alleged breach of a gas supply and processing agreement signed with P&ID.
The tribunal had ruled that Nigeria was liable for $6.6bn in damages, which increased to about $9.6bn with accruing interest.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on August 26, described the judgment as an assault on all Nigerians
She had said it was important for all Nigerians to rise up to the task of ensuring that the nation and its citizens were not unfairly treated on the matter.
The minister had said, “This matter that has brought us here today is a very weighty one. An award of $9.6bn is equivalent to N3.5trn. N3.5trn in our annual budget will be covering for us the personnel cost, which is about N3.2trn and more. So, this award is unreasonable, excessive and exorbitant.”