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Tuesday, 24 September 2019

$9.6b verdict: P&ID offers to negotiate with Fed Govt

$9.6b verdict: P&ID offers to negotiate with Fed Govt

Fed Govt

- Nigeria to pursue case ‘to logical conclusion’

- Delegation to allay investors’ fears

Owners of Irish firm, Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID), which got a $9.6billion judgment against Nigeria, have made offers for settlement.

The offers came after a Federal High Court in Abuja wound up the firm and its Nigerian affiliate following their guilty plea to fraud and money laundering.

The Federal Government received five negotiation offers from individuals close to the firm, it was learnt on Monday.

One of those interested in negotiation is Adam Quinn, son of P&ID’s owner, the late Michael Quinn.

Already, the government has initiated moves to get him repatriated to Nigeria to face trial.

The government has, however, put the offers on hold pending the outcome of the case before a United Kingdom court on Thursday.

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Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami (SAN), Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu; and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu yesterday spent hours briefing foreign lawyers on forensic investigation of the controversial gas project.

It was learnt that the team met with major UK media organisation to explain Nigeria’s position on the matter.

The delegation is expected to hold a crucial session with investors tomorrow to allay fears of likely collapse of the nation’s economy as a result of the judgment.

A source, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said: “Ahead of the legal battle on Thursday against P&ID, the Federal Government has received five offers from some individuals acting on behalf of the Irish firm for negotiation.

“One of those seeking peaceful resolution of the row is Adam Quinn, who is a son to the late owner of P&ID. For security reasons, we want to keep other names under wraps.

“The government has, however, decided to put these offers in abeyance, pending the outcome of Thursday’s sitting. We are not opposed to talks or negotiation, but, given a similar circumstance in the past, the government is a bit circumspect about any offer from the representatives/ associates of P&ID and other arbiters.

“We want to pursue this case to its logical conclusion before we give any other option a thought.”

Investigation confirmed that Malami, Adamu and Magu have spent quality time with the foreign lawyers engaged by the Federal Government.

Another source added: “These three leaders on the delegation, who were saddled with the investigation of the gas contract awarded to P&ID, had considerable discussion with the offshore lawyers on their findings.

“The report of the EFCC was presented to the foreign lawyers to underscore the fact that the gas contract was a scam. All the procedures, suspects’ statements, relevant documents and court judgments were made available to the offshore lawyers to strengthen Nigeria’s case.

“We are building our case on the fraudulent contract, non-execution of any job and how the arbitration panel was misled into the award of the $9.6billion damages against the Federal Government.

“We want the UK court to grant Nigeria’s request for a stay of execution of the judgment.”

An official said: “Members of the delegation had audience with Reuters, AP, Financial Times, and other agencies. On Tuesday (today), the team will meet with BBC team to set the records straight that P&ID was just being smart in securing the $9.6billion award.

“The impression out there in the international community was as if the nation defaulted or reneged on a contract when the entire process was invalid.

“Part of the mandate of the delegation is to change the narrative that Nigeria violated contract terms with P&ID.”

It was learnt that the delegation will hold a business session with investors in the UK on Wednesday.

Malami confirmed some of the findings of The Nation on the activities of the delegation in London.

He said: “It is simply that we met with our local and international legal teams in the High Commission office in London.

“We took briefings from the teams in Nigeria and UK for the purpose of developing strategies targeted at setting aside the award.”

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