A fact-sheet now in circulation has debunked accusations by Messrs Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) that Nigerian officials were indifferent to their offers to settle, before a UK commercial court gave it a humongous and world record $9.6billion award on a failed gas supply deal.
According to the fact-sheet, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo separately approved negotiation with Messrs Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) after the Arbitration Tribunal awarded $6.597billion to the company. The two leaders at various times offered $250million and $600million to the Irish company.
The Vice President gave the approval on April 18, 2017, following the recommendations of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), which included a negotiation with P&ID.
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Federal Government’s team to meet with P&ID counsel on July 12 and 13 in New York.
Based on Osinbajo’s approval, the AGF and the then Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and a delegation along with counsel Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, on May 16, 2017, met with representatives of P & ID and its counsel to negotiate the judgment debt.
The government team initially on May 16, 2017 succeeded in negotiating the judgment debt from $8.4billion, to which it had risen, to $600million.
But P & ID rejected the offer on the grounds that what was agreed on to be executed was a Draft Stay of Enforcement Agreement and not a Settlement Agreement as proposed by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government offered $250million which P&ID rejected.
The document said although a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), recommended an amicable settlement with P&ID, the “ proposed settlement broke down.”
The government said the “settlement could not be reached before the time for report of settlement elapsed, therefore proceedings resumed at the Tribunal for determination.”