By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Thursday, said the Federal Government of Nigeria would not negotiate with Process and Industrial Developments Limited, P&ID, the firm that was awarded $10billion by a British Court over botched gas supply and processing agreement.
Malami, in a statement that was signed by his media aide, Dr. Jubrilu Gwandu, maintained that FG was not considering any possibility of entering into any form of negotiation with the firm.
He said: “There will be no negotiation or talk of settlement with P&ID or any related party by or on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The recent judgment of the English Commercial Court confirmed our view that P&ID and its cohorts are fraudsters who have exploited our country. They will not benefit from their corrupt behavior.
“This is a classic case with overwhelming fraudulent and corrupt undertones. The Federal Government of Nigeria is not considering any possibility of negotiations with P&ID.
“It has not only fallen within the tall order exception referred to by the Hon Attorney General in his interview with Arise TV yesterday but lacks any legitimate foundation.
“We will not and cannot negotiate arbitral awards where the basis and foundation rely on fraud, corruption, breach of processes and procedures.
“The Government remains wholly committed to fighting this case to overturn the exorbitant award without paying a single naira of public money to these fraudsters”.
It will be recalled that a Commercial Court of England had last Friday, granted FG leave to challenge the $10bn arbitral award to P&ID.
Malami had described the decision of the English Court to allow Nigeria to challenge the judgement debt placed on it over three years ago, as “unprecedented”.
He noted that the Court allowed Nigeria to challenge the verdict, “well outside the normal time limits, due to the exceptional circumstances where the FRN has uncovered evidence of massive fraud in procuring the award”.
P&ID had sued Nigeria for allegedly breaching the terms of a gas supply and processing agreement contract it reportedly signed in 2010.
Based on the suit, a tribunal in the United Kingdom, in 2017, ordered Nigeria to pay the firm $6.6 billion as damages, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest that amounted to about $10 billion.