The Federal Government of Nigeria has finally agreed to pay the $200m security deposit ordered by Justice Christopher Butcher of the Commercial Court in London in September in the ongoing gas dispute case between Nigeria and Process and Industry Development Limited, reports The Punch.
It would be recalled that the British court had asked Nigeria to pay $200m security payment in the court’s account while granting request to stay execution in the award of $9.6bn award in favour of Process and Industry Development Limited.
In a statement released by P&ID and made available to Sunday PUNCH on Saturday, the Federal Government’s legal team said during a hearing at the London court on Friday that Nigeria would pay the $200m security deposit.
The statement was reportedly made available by the Associate Director, In-House, London, the media firm that represents P&ID, Chris Rogers.
The statement read in part, “Before Justice Butcher today (Friday) in London, the Nigerian legal team acknowledged that President Buhari has authorised the steps to provide a bank guarantee for the $200m in security that was ordered by the English Court in September.
“Moreover, the following steps have already been taken by the Nigerian Government: Ministry of Finance has received approval to proceed with obtaining the bank guarantee; Minister of Finance has submitted a request to the Central Bank of Nigeria to proceed with procuring the bank guarantee; the Central Bank of Nigeria has submitted a request to an unnamed foreign correspondent bank to issue the bank guarantee from London and provide the relevant information to the court.”
The Federal Government through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation had filed an appeal before the London court to stop the order of September 2019 to pay the $200m security deposit and the $9.6bn Tribunal Award in favour of P&ID.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who was part of the Federal Government’s delegation to London late September, disclosed to reporters in Abuja on October 2 that the government had begun the process of filing an appeal against the $200m security deposit.
He said the government retained international legal firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, for the case.
Apart from the $200m, Mohammed said the government would be able to seek a refund of the $250,000 it was asked to pay to P&ID if the appeal succeeded.
Last week, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, confirmed that the Federal Government had filed the appeal.
However, P&ID’s statement on Saturday, following a hearing at the London court indicated that the appeal had failed.
However, efforts made on Saturday to get the AGF Office to state its own side of the case failed.