Mr. Dayo Apata, solicitor-general

Mr. Dayo Apata, the solicitor-general of the Federation has said that the Nigerian government will appeal against Friday’s judgment by a British commercial court which gave Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) the permission to seize Nigerian assets worth $9 billion.

In a statement Apata, who is also the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, said the Federal Government has instructed its lawyers to seek a stay of execution.

He said proceedings were ongoing in the United States, adding that “the Federal Government of Nigeria is making vigorous efforts to defend its interest in this matter and would not relent in exploring every viable option in doing so.”

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The case involves a 2010 deal in which the Nigerian government agreed to supply gas to a processing plant in Calabar that P&ID – a firm founded by two Irish businessmen specifically for the project – would build and run.

The agreement was between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and P&ID.

Apata said that “P&ID never began the construction of the project facility although it alleged it incurred about $40m in preliminary expenses.”

“P & ID’s claim in the arbitration proceedings was mainly for loss of profit for the entire twenty-year term of the GSPA, initially claiming the sum of US$1.9 Billion and later increasing its claim to US$5.9 Billion.

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The firm was first awarded $6.6 billion in an arbitration case in January 2017 by a US District Court; the federal government however refused to pay the sum.

The damages increased to $9 billion after interest.