$10bn judgment: Malami makes U-turn, says no negotiation with P&ID

Abubakar Malami SAN

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami(SAN), on Thursday, ruled out a negotiation with the British Virgin Island firm, Process and Industrial Development, over the $10bn judgment it obtained against Nigeria.

This came as a reversal of his position expressed in a live interview on Arise TV on Wednesday, when he gave indication that the government would keep the window of negotiation with P&ID open.

“Generally speaking, when it comes to judicial proceedings or perhaps arbitral proceedings for that matter, one cannot rule wholeheartedly with clear finality, conclude that there should not be perhaps any room for the possibility of settlement,” he had said in the interview when asked about the possibility of a settlement talks with P&ID

But a statement by Malami’s spokesman, Umar Gwandu, on Thursday, the minister was quoted as saying that that the government would not negotiate with P&ID as the process leading to the arbitral award it obtained against Nigeria was rooted in fraud.

Malami said, “There will be no negotiation or talk of settlement with P&ID or any related party by or on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“The recent judgment of the English Commercial Court confirmed our view that P&ID and its cohorts are fraudsters who have exploited our country. They will not benefit from their corrupt behaviour.”

He said it was “a classic case with overwhelming fraudulent and corrupt undertones”, adding that the P&ID transaction did not fall into the category general principle of settlement talks that he expressed on Arise TV on Wednesday.

He added, “The Federal Government of Nigeria is not considering any possibility of negotiations with P&ID.

“It has not only fallen within the tall order exception referred to by the Hon Attorney General in his interview with Arise TV yesterday, but lacks any legitimate foundation.

“We will not and cannot negotiate arbitral awards where the basis and foundation rely on fraud, corruption, breach of processes and procedures.

“The Government remains wholly committed to fighting this case to overturn the exorbitant award without paying a single naira of public money to these fraudsters.”

 THE PUNCH

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