By Ikechukwu Nnochiri – Abuja
The Federal Government, on Friday, said it has succeeded in securing variation of the United Kingdom court order that previously mandated it to make cash payment of $200million as security, pending the determination of the appeal it lodged against Process and Industrial Developments Limited, P&ID.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami made this known in a statement that was issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.
He disclosed that the variation request which the UK court granted on Thursday, followed an appeal FG filed against the payment of $200m security component which was a condition for stay of execution of the judgment in favour of P&ID.
According to the statement, the Court granted FG’s request for variation of terms of the order seeking to provide bank guarantee in place of direct deposit.
“Our application for variation of the order was allowed and we are as a result not making cash deposit but posting a bank guarantee,” the AGF stated.
He said: “We remain in control of our funds by the act of acceptance of the guarantee.
“The Government is not paying the $ 200m cash but positing a bank guarantee by the variation of the order.
“The advantage of the variation in the judgment from direct deposition of cash to posting of bank guarantee is that the money and its control resides in the Federal Government unlike when otherwise.
“The success recorded so far in relation to the $200m security deposit is that the amount of money remain in our custody, and we are simply providing a document. It is only when our case did not succeed, which we never anticipate, then the court can order the withdrawal the amount as stated in bank guarantee”.
Malami said FG’s requested for change in the method of paying the security deposit because it believed that the entire contract would be quashed on the basis of fraud.
He reiterated Nigerian government’s commitment to vigorously pursue the case with a view to setting aside the $9.6billion judgement liability against the country, as well as quashing the entire controversial gas supply contract P&ID is laying claim to.