The Commercial Court in London, United Kingdom, yesterday granted Nigeria’s request to stay execution of a judgment which favoured Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) to seize Nigeria’s assets worth $9.6bn over a contract scandal.
However, while granting permission to appeal the case, the UK Commercial Court asked the Nigerian Government to deposit $200m (N72.2bn) into the court’s account within 60 days for the stay of execution to take effect.
Nigeria had asked for permission to appeal against the enforcement of the judgment which has been granted.
It also asked for a stay of execution of the arbitral award and this has been granted with the condition that $200 million be deposited within 60 days.
Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), led a delegation of senior government officials to the UK to seek a legal solution to the matter on Sunday.
This was after building up a case against P&ID in Nigeria. A federal high court in Abuja convicted representatives of the company of economic sabotage and ordered the forfeiture of assets linked to the firm.
Addressing world leaders at the ongoing United Nations general assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari had described the P&ID contract as a scam “attempting to cheat Nigeria”.
“Organised criminal networks, often acting with impunity across international borders present new challenges where only collective action can deliver genuine results,” he said in New York on Tuesday.
“The present Nigerian government is facing the challenges of corruption head-on. We are giving notice to international criminal groups by the vigorous prosecution of the P&ID scam attempting to cheat Nigeria of billions of dollars.
“This is true in the battle against violent extremism, against trafficking in people and drugs and against corruption and money laundering.”