By Nwafor Sunday
Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID) has said that it would seize Nigeria’s assets in the United Kingdom, UK, to enforce the order of a British court against Nigeria.
Disclosing this, the firms representative, Mr John Ehiguese, said that they have the possibility of seizing Nigerian naval vessels or oil cargoes.
He said that their lawyers are searching for any Nigeria’s property worth of $9.6bn to seize in order to recover their money.
Mr John who disclosed this to Punch opined; “We cannot confirm specifics. However, the P&ID’s legal team is working diligently to identify and target assets that may be used for enforcement of the tribunal award.
“There have been many successful enforcement cases against sovereign states in the past.
“In the case against Argentina, creditors detained an Argentine naval vessel; in the case against Venezuela there was the seizure of state-owned oil cargo. There is a wide range of potential assets.”
Recall that the federal government has directed its Solicitor-General to appeal the ruling by Justice Butcher of the UK Commercial Court that an Irish company P&ID can seize Nigeria’s assets worth $9 billion.
Nigeria and the Irish company had been at legal battle over a failed gas supply agreement with the Nigerian government.
In a statement obtained by Vanguard last week the nation’s Solicitor-General Mr Dayo Apata (SAN), said the nation is going to appeal this most recent judgment and would seek a stay of execution.
Reacting on that, Mr John said, “The real question is: is the Nigerian Government willing to enter good-faith negotiations? The ball is now in the court of the Buhari Administration to demonstrate a mature, good-faith approach to a resolution; their legal arguments have been completely rejected.
“In the meantime, the P&ID will look to seize Nigeria’s assets in the UK to enforce the award as soon as possible. The company’s current focus is vigorously enforcing the award.
“The onus is on the Nigerian government and the Buhari Administration to demonstrate a mature, good-faith approach to a resolution.”
The Irish firm accused the administration of engaging in a smear campaign instead of addressing the issues.
It said, “Instead of accepting responsibility or pursuing a negotiated settlement, the Buhari administration has regrettably chosen to continue its campaign of misinformation and misdirection, including wild allegations against the English judge and commencing a sham investigation.
“This approach is not constructive, and will not help to resolve the situation. The P&ID will begin enforcing its legal rights, including the seizure of Nigerian assets in the UK.”