$9 billion: Protesters want British court ruling against Nigeria reversed

Protesters Gives UK Government 21 Day Ultimatum To Reverse Judgement
Protesters Gives UK Government 21 Day Ultimatum To Reverse Judgement

Dozens of protesters, on Tuesday, in Abuja expressed their dissaproval over the $8.9 billion arbitral award granted against Nigeria by a U.K court over a botched gas deal with a foreign firm, P&ID.

The protest was organised by members of Coalition of Civil Society Groups.

Its president, Bassey Williams, led the protesters to the British Embassy in Abuja

Mr Williams said the group has given the British government a 21-day ultimatum to reverse the judgment against the Nigerian government

The group later marched to the Irish embassy. The P&ID is an Irish firm.

The Judgement

The U.K court had in the ruling authorised the P&ID, an Irish engineering and project management company, to be paid the multi–billion dollar cash via Nigerian assets over the failed gas contract.

The judgment was a fallout of the contract entered into in 2010 between the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and P&ID, and a subsequent award made in July 2015 by an arbitration panel sitting in London in favour of the company.

The Nigerian government has since reacted to the international ruling, describing the award as a conspiracy to cause economic damage to Nigeria.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the government has resolved to probe the contract with a view to bringing collaborators to account.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, urged Nigerians to ignore the “ostentatious claims by the U.K firm”.

Angry protesters

Mr Bassey noted that the protest would continue if the British government failed to adhere to its ultimatum.

“We have come to register our mind again today and what this means is that we are giving the British government a 21-day ultimatum for them to reverse the judgement and call the British judge to order.

“Also to call the P&ID to order and help Nigeria. We are begging the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson to help Nigeria.

“After 21 days, if nothing happens, we will come back to occupy British Embassy and this time around we are not going home. We will sleep here, we will cook here and we will eat here.”

He said “the Nigerian government cannot afford (to pay) the amount of money involved considering the high level of unemployment and poverty rate in the country”.

Protesters Gives UK Government 21 Day Ultimatum To Reverse Judgement
Protesters Gives UK Government 21 Day Ultimatum To Reverse Judgement

He added that the Nigeria economy is weak and cannot absorb the negative impacts it would have on her foreign reserve.

“We have come to tell the British government that we are still saying no to that judgement. We are asking that the judgement should be set aside.

“The Nigerian government and P&ID should sit down and negotiate out of court. Our economy is weak right now and we cannot afford that money,” he added.

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