FG to appeal British court order authorising seizure of Nigerian assets

The Federal Government has commenced move to reverse the order of a British court which granted, on Friday, the seizure of Nigerian assets amounting to $9bn.

Justice Butcher of the British Commercial Court had on Friday while delivering judgment in the suit filed by an Irish firm, Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID) against Nigeria gave the firm the go-ahead to seize Nigeria’s assets to the tune of $9bn in terms of judgment debt in favour of the firm.

However barely few hours the judgement was given in favour of P&ID, Nigeria indicated it would appeal the judgment.

A statement from the Federal Ministry of Justice, signed by the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Dayo Apata, on Friday disclosed that the FG had already instructed its lawyers to initiate appeal proceedings against the judgment at the British court.

While assuring that the Federal Government would do everything possible to defend vigorously its interest and that of the people of Nigeria, Apata hinted that part of the move was to seek for a Stay of Execution of the said judgment, adding that the issue is a current litigation issue at the United States of America.

P&ID had dragged the Federal government and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to court over alleged breach of a agreement entered in 2010 by Nigeria to supply gas to a processing plant built and run by P&ID in Calabar.

The agreement was for a 20-year deal but the Nigerian government failed to keep to her own side of the agreement, prompting the legal action against the country.

The Federal government had continued to maintain that P&ID never began the construction of the project facility for which it claimed about $40m in preliminary expenses.

The FG said the firm’s claim in the arbitration proceedings was mainly for loss of profit for the entire twenty-year term of the GSPA, “initially claiming the sum of US$1.9 Billion and later increasing its claim to US$5.9bn.

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