The Federal Government has said that the English Court judgement awarding $9.6 billion to Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID), over a botched gas contract on which the company did not invest a dime, is not a threat to Nigeria’s assets.
”Nigerians should be assured that the Federal Government is taking all necessary steps to appeal the decision of the UK Court, to seek for a Stay of Execution of the decision, to defend its rights and to protect the assets of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, told a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Minister assured that the Federal Government will strongly avail itself of all defences customarily afforded to sovereign states under the United Kingdom Sovereign Immunity Act to stave off any enforcement of the award, against the background of media reports that the company is already compiling a list of Nigerian assets to seize, following the judgement.
He said that in the first instance, the enforcement of the award cannot even commence now because the Judge in the UK court ordered that the P&ID cannot enforce the judgment against Nigeria until after the court resumes from its current vacation.
”What this means is that enforcement action cannot begin until further hearing on the matter, which will take place on a date to be determined by the court upon its resumption,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
Also at the press conference were the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria Godwin Emefiele.