– Federal Government said that it will negotiate with P&ID
– Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) government that entered into the contract agreement, signed and executed in 2010
– So, with the lapsing of time to appeal, you could not have filed an application to either set aside the award or to stay execution
The Federal Government has said that it will negotiate with Process and Industrial Developments Ltd over the 20 year Gas Supply Processing Agreement entered into in 2010 for which a United Kingdom court recently ordered the company to seize $9.6bn in Nigerian assets, because the timeline to appeal the judgment had elapsed.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said in Abuja yesterday that the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) government that entered into the contract agreement, signed and executed in 2010, failed to appeal the verdict.
Malami vowed that all those involved in the drafting and signing of the agreement as well as other “personalities of interest” would be probed.
He said: “there was already an award of about $6.9bn verdict against Nigeria before President Muhammadu Buhari took over in 2015 and the time which the present administration would appealed had already elapsed because the previous administration had not appealed against the judgement “when it was made in June 2014.”
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“So, with the lapsing of time to appeal, you could not have filed an application to either set aside the award or to stay execution; you require the leave of the tribunal to appeal an award. That leave would have been very difficult because Nigeria, as at then, had been judged and had slept over its right to appeal.
“The only option open was to consider the possibility of negotiating. That was what informed our decision to consider the possibility of negotiation.
“Fraud could be a ground for setting aside the award without necessarily seeking for leave. So, if we can establish fraud, there is no time limit within which we can raise it as against appealing the decisions of the tribunal on the bases of law or facts.
“As at 2015, there was a contract in existence having been executed. There was an award in existence having been made in June 2014. There were lawyers engaged by parties, P & ID and the previous government. Yes there was a purported contract, there was a purported award and parties were in court before the tribunal.
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“But one thing that is important to state is that while the arbitral proceedings were on in the UK, there was an attempt by the lawyers that were engaged by the previous government to file a fresh action in Nigeria to set aside the award after it was made.
“The lawyers that were engaged were engaged by the government that preceded the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.
Malami assured that the Nigerian Government would not sell out the interest of the country and the Nigerian people in order to satisfy some elements “who are consciously” out to extort the Nigerian people for their selfish aggrandisement.
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