Justice Christopher Butcher of the Commercial Court in London on Thursday granted Nigeria’s request to stay of execution of the enforcement of the $9.6bn arbitral award pending the Federal Government’s appeal.
Granting the stay conditionally, the judge ordered Nigeria to make a $200m security payment into its account within 60 days and 14 days to pay running costs whose sum was not disclosed in court.
He also granted Nigeria’s request for a leave to file the appeal in respect of the $9.6bn arbitral award.
The high-stakes dispute pits Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID), a British Virgin Islands-registered company founded by two Irish business partners, against the energy-rich but a troubled nation of 200 million people.
But P&ID, in a statement following the Thursday’s proceedings, said the running cost which the Nigeria government must pay to it within 14 days before it could file the appeal amounted to $250,000.
It said the Thursday’s ruling by the British court was not a permission to the Federal Government to appeal against the arbitral award but to appeal against its enforcement in the form of seizure of its assets. The statement read:
“For background, today’s judgment granted the Nigerian government leave to appeal the UK court’s decision that it could be subject to asset seizures to enforce the arbitration award in favour of P&ID.
“It does not allow the government to appeal the award itself.
“As you’ll be aware, the High Court in the UK heard arguments in the case today, with the Nigerian government seeking a stay of asset seizures and leave to appeal the asset seizure decision.
“The court has ruled the government may appeal – if it meets the conditions that $250,000 must be paid to P&ID in costs within 14 days and $200m in security paid to the court within 60 days.”
The British court had in August this year delivered a judgment recognising a London-based arbitration panel’s award of $9.6bn against Nigeria over a failed Gas Supply Processing Agreement signed in 2010 between the Federal Government and P&ID for “lean gas” production in the country.
Parties to the case returned to the court on Thursday with Nigeria obtaining the leave of the court to appeal against the judgment and an order of conditional stay of execution of the judgment subject to the Federal Government’s payment of security fund of $200m into the court’s account within 60days.