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Nigeria can appeal against enforcement of $9.6bn judgement – UK court

A British court says Nigeria can appeal against the enforcement of the judgement granting Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) the fiat to size the country’s assets worth $9.6 billion.

The court gave the order on Thursday.

Nigeria had asked for permission to appeal against the enforcement of the judgement. It also asked for a stay of execution of the arbitral award. But the court is yet to rule on the second request.

If the court grants the request for stay of execution – without conditions – Nigeria could have its head above water.

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.

The judgement of the high court formed part of the grounds of the country’s suit.

P&ID had claimed it entered an agreement with the Nigerian government to build a gas processing facility in Calabar, Cross River, in 2010, but that the government breached the contract. It then sought judicial remedy, securing an arbitral award against Nigeria in January, 2017.

But the contract has been described as a scam. Michael Aondoakaa, former attorney-general of the federation (AGF), said it was not approved by the federal executive council (FEC) under the Yar’ adua administration.

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President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday the P&ID deal was a scam designed to dupe Nigeria.