A United Kingdom Commercial and Arbitration Court on Thursday granted Nigeria’s government leave to appeal against the award and enforcement of the judgment that asked Process and Industrial Developments Limited, P&ID, to seize $9.6bn in Nigerian assets.
Application for stay of execution is currently being considered.
Nigeria’s Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who is the leader of the Nigerian legal team in London, confirmed the development.
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.”