The United Kingdom Commercial and Arbitration Court on Thursday ordered a stay of execution of the $9.6 billion damages awarded against Nigeria by Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) pending the determination of an appeal by the Federal Government.
The court asked the government to make a security payment of $200 million to the court, while also granting Nigeria’s leave to file an appeal against the award.
The company had secured the damages against Nigeria following a failed Gas Supply Project Agreement (GSPA) contract between it and the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who spoke from London said: “Stay of execution granted subject to payment of $200m security payment to court pending the determination of the appeal the leave for which has been granted by the commercial court.
“Application for leave to appeal against the award and enforcement of the award is granted.”
Malami; the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, had last Saturday led a delegation to the United Kingdom for the epic legal battle with P&ID.
The court had in August affirmed the ruling of a London arbitration tribunal, which, in January 2017, awarded $6.6bn arbitral award against Nigeria over an alleged breach of a gas supply and processing agreement signed with P&ID.
The tribunal had ruled that Nigeria was liable for $6.6bn in damages, which increased to about $9.6bn with accruing interest.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on August 26, described the judgment as an assault on all Nigerians
She had said it was important for all Nigerians to rise up to the task of ensuring that the nation and its citizens were not unfairly treated on the matter.
The minister had said, “This matter that has brought us here today is a very weighty one. An award of $9.6bn is equivalent to N3.5trn. N3.5trn in our annual budget will be covering for us the personnel cost, which is about N3.2trn and more. So, this award is unreasonable, excessive and exorbitant.”