President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, and the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to conduct a thorough investigation into the recent $9.6 billion UK court’s judgement against Nigeria.
Just recently, a UK Court had authorised the Process and Industrial Developments Ltd., P&ID, to seize 9.6 billion dollars in Nigerian assets, over a contract entered into by the company and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2010, according to Daily Nigerian.
However, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, disclosed that the federal government was doing everything possible to unravel the circumstances surrounding the recent judgement.
He said the directive was an attempt to unravel the circumstances surrounding the recent judgement of a UK Court authorising Process and Industrial Developments Ltd., P&ID, to seize 9.6 billion dollars in Nigerian assets, over a contract entered into by the company and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2010.
He also assured that the federal government was taking all necessary steps to appeal the decision of the UK Court, to seek for a stay of execution of the decision, to defend its rights and to protect the assets of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said: “We want to place on record that the Federal Government views with serious concerns the underhanded manner in which the contract was negotiated and signed.
“Indications are that the whole process was carried out by some vested interests in the past administration, which apparently colluded with their local and international conspirators to inflict grave economic injury on Nigeria and its people.”
The minister, however, recalled that Nigerian government had in 2017 made several attempts to negotiate the award and resolve the whole issue amicably with P&ID but to no avail, which eventually led to the enforcement proceedings instituted, simultaneously, by the company in the UK and the US.
“The Federal Government then engaged the services of the US law firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, which took steps to defend the proceedings in the US District Court of Columbia to dismiss P&ID’s application for the enforcement of the award on the grounds that Nigeria, as a sovereign state, has an absolute right to obtain an authoritative determination of its sovereign immunity.
“While Nigeria has recorded some successes in that case in the US, the proceedings are currently on-going in the US and the Federal Government will ensure that its interest and that of the people of Nigeria are vigorously defended,” the minister added.