Malami: Nigeria didn’t make $200m cash deposit on P&ID

NIGERIA has not deposited the $200 million cash a London Commercial Court ordered before staying execution of the $9.6 billion judgment debt awarded in favour Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) Ltd.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami stated this on Sunday.

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He added that a legal battle is underway for a review of the condition of payment of such amount and to allow Nigeria post a bank guarantee rather than cash deposit.

Justice Christopher Butcher had in August 2019 awarded $9.6 billion judgment debt against Nigeria over an alleged botched gas contract between the country and P&ID.

However, following Nigeria’s appeal against the judgment, the London court ordered the country to deposit $200 million as security into the court’s account while granting request to stay execution of the $9.6 billion award.

Besides, the court gave Nigeria up till November 25 to make the deposit but the federal government appealed the court’s decision.

But Malami, who was a guest on a Channels TV programme Politics Today, said Nigeria had appealed that decision and had already recorded three major victories in its quest to upturn the judgment debt.

He said: “Nigeria has not failed. We filed an application for variation to allow us perhaps to consider the possibility of posting a bank guarantee as against the posting cash deposit thereto and we appealed against the order.

“So, the order for the deposit of such amount of money and the appeal component is being considered at the superior court of record.

“But one thing I want to place on record is that Nigeria has not paid the amount in contention, has challenged the order as it relates to the posting of cash deposit and, arriving from the context, we have succeeded in perhaps making a case that the condition of payment of such amount should now be reviewed and be considered at the appellate level.”

He argued that the country had recorded three major successes and was also attempting to set aside of the entire proceedings.

Malami said the government was still investigating the roles of several actors in the P&ID saga, including the part played by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), adding that there would be consequences for those found liable.

Already, he explained, it had been determined through investigation that some Nigerians were compromised with about $301 million.

The minister absolved the Buhari administration and his office of blame in the saga. He lauded the role of the Presidency, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other related agencies in the latest developments in the case.

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