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‘Blame Malami’ — Details of P&ID $9.6bn Judgement Emerge

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More details have emerged about the $9.6 billion judgement delivered in favour of Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), an Irish engineering firm against the Nigerian government.

A statement published on a blog, P&ID Facts, claimed that the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration “is refusing to admit its own role in the P&ID case from 2015-2019 after it came into office” and blamed Abubakar Malami, the attorney general of the federation, not negotiating while the legal proceedings were ongoing.

Read the statement below:

Appearing on CNBC Africa, Attorney-General Abubakar Malami sought to wipe his hands and the hands of the Buhari Administration clean when he stated, “[t]he government as a unit was delicately involved. And that was the government in 2010, the award was in 2012, and then three years thereafter the current administration under the leadership of Muhammadu Buhari came into place. So the time when this administration came to place in 2015, the award was over three years, there was no appeal, no application for execution, no application to set the award aside.”

Attorney General Malami seems to have a case of amnesia.

Let’s set the record straight.

May 3, 2015: P&ID offers to settle the dispute with the Nigerian Government for $850mm. President Goodluck Jonathan indicates they are handing over the negotiations to the incoming Buhari Administration.

May 29, 2015: Muhammadu Buhari is sworn in as the 15th President of Nigeria, but fails to appoint a cabinet for five months.

July 17, 2015: The Arbitration Tribunal found in favour of P&ID (i.e. – the Liability Award). The new Buhari Administration did not make any attempts at settling or negotiating with P&ID and did not make any effort to challenge the decision.

November 11, 2015: Attorney General Malami was sworn in November 11, 2015, just under three months after the Liability Award.

May 27, 2016: The Arbitration Tribunal wrote to the Nigeria Government confirming that: “As the parties will be aware from Procedural Order No 12, the Tribunal has decided that the seat of the arbitration in England. It follows that the Federal Court of Nigeria had no jurisdiction to set aside its Award.” Neither Attorney General Malami, nor any representative of the Buhari Administration did anything in response other than continue with the proceedings, thereby tacitly accepting the analysis of the Arbitration Tribunal.

June 24, 2016: Having failed to set aside the Liability Award by falsely claiming the seat of arbitration was in Nigeria; not England, Attorney General Malami wrote personally to the arbitrators to say “my office has taken over the handling of the above arbitration on behalf of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.” He asked for and obtained an extension of time to file a defence to quantum, and appointed his own legal team in place of the Ministry of Petroleum Resource’s legal team.

August 30-31, 2016: The Quantum Hearing (i.e. – the amount of damages payable) takes place in London. Attorney General Malami’s legal team conducted Nigeria’s defence at the quantum hearing. Expert witnesses as to quantum were called to give evidence and were cross-examined.
After the Quantum Hearing, Attorney General Malami instructed his lawyers to request a standstill agreement, which would take effect from the date of the Award.

This fact has never been publicly reported until today.

January 31, 2017: The Arbitral Tribunal issued a final award, ordering Nigeria to pay P&ID $6.5 billion plus $2.3 billion in uncollected interest as of March 2018.

February 17, 2017: The Award on Quantum was delivered to the parties on February 17, 2017. Despite the 60-day standstill having been agreed by P&ID, Attorney General Malami made no attempt to negotiate with P&ID during the 60 days following the handing down of the Quantum Award.

April 28, 2017: After the 60 days had expired, Attorney General Malami instructed his lawyers to write to P&ID’s lawyers and explained that “The delay was occasioned by the bureaucracy of the Federal Government in a bid to determine a reasonable strategy after receipt of the Arbitral award.” The Attorney General’s lawyers added: “we now have the authority of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to meet with the Claimant to negotiate the Terms of the Arbitral award.”

Today: In the lead up to the judgment by the English Commercial Court, Attorney General Malami allowed the time for acknowledging service in both the United States and London to lapse without filing any response. In both jurisdictions, Nigeria’s lawyers Curtis Mallet had to apply for ex post facto extensions of time and make the necessary apologies and explanations to the court.

In London, a senior Curtis Mallet partner explained that the Claim Form was “immediately filed and not passed up the chain of command” at the Ministry of Justice. The partner pleaded that “the delay was neither deliberate nor intended to be disrespectful to the Court.”

In the US, Curtis Mallet explained that the deadline was missed because they were in the process of being formally retained by the Nigerian Government and had been instructed to inquire about the potential for a settlement

The Attorney General’s pronouncements in the Nigerian press are a clear attempt to cover up his own incompetence and that of the Buhari Administration. This is a matter, which could have been settled shortly after he took office in November 2015 for $850 million. Instead, he personally took the decision to gamble on the arbitration and turned an $850 million liability into a $9.6 billion liability.

Meanwhile, P&ID is now focused on vigorously enforcing its legal rights in the UK, including seizing Nigerian assets to satisfy the award. This will begin as soon as possible.

A British commercial court had granted the company powers to seize Nigerian assets worth $9.6 billion over a failed gas processing deal where the federal government was said not have fulfilled its own part.

Malami had announced that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would prosecute all those involved in approving the deal.

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The Country’s Economy Sliding Into Depression – Gov. El-Rufai

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has said Nigeria’s economy is going into a state of depression.

The governor said all the states are presently dealing with very difficult situation as they battle the Covid-19 pandemic.

El-Rufai said this while speaking to State House correspondents on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“The economy is going to go into depression; there is nothing we can do about that; revenues have collapsed; yet you still have to invest in more public health facilities.

“Most of the leaders have to invest in treatment despite the condition and weighed to invest in security.”

He added that it is a difficult time for those at the leadership positions even as he called on all leaders to work in unity.

“This time is a very difficult time to be in a leadership position and that is why the people and the leaders must all work together and pray for God to end this Coronavirus pandemic.

“It is a major problem, but we are working together,” El-rufai added.

The Kaduna Governor, however, added that Nigeria will surely overcome as a resilient nation.

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Maikanti Baru, Former NNPC GMD, Dies at 60

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Maikanti Baru, the immediate past group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is dead.

He was 60 years old as at the time of his death, and only two months away from his 61st birthday.

This was disclosed by Mele Kyari, the current GMD of the state-run oil company.

“My brother, my friend and my mentor, Dr Maikanti Kachalla Baru, immediate past GMD of NNPC died late last night,” Kyari said.

“He was of exemplary character and disposition. May Allah forgive him and have mercy upon him.”

Baru was appointed NNPC GMD by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2016, a position he held up until 2019.

Baru announced his retirement from NNPC in July 2019 when he clocked the age of 60.

“Today, having clocked the statutory age of 60, I have retired from the services of NNPC. I wish the new GMD Mallam Mele Kyari and his Team success. Thank you President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve,” he tweeted on July, 2019.

Baru was born in July 1959 in Misau, Bauchi state.

He attended Federal Government College, Jos for his secondary education where he graduated in 1978.

In 1982, he obtained his bachelor of engineering degree from Ahmadu Bello University.

Baru has a doctorate in Computer Aided Engineering from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.

He was the 18th GMD of NNPC.

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Court Jails Six Air Force Personnel Over Badeh’s Killing

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A general court martial in Abuja has jailed six personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) who were attached to Alex Badeh, former chief of defence staff (CDS).

The late Badeh served as Nigeria’s chief of defence staff between January 2014 and July 2015.

Badeh died from the gunshot wounds he sustained in an attack on December 18. He was returning from his farm along Abuja-Keffi road when he was shot dead.

In a statement on Saturday, Ibikunle Daramola, NAF director of public relations and information, said the six officers, who were supposed to provide armed security for Badeh, were jailed on Friday. But he did not indicate the jail terms of the convicts.

He said the personnel involved are Tom Gwani, Amu David, Philemon Degema, Sabo Simon, Mukhtar Abdullahi and Alfred Alexander.

“Six NAF personnel, who were aides to the former CDS were awarded various sentences by the GCM sitting at the NAF Base, Bill Clinton Drive, Abuja,” he said.

“The personnel were standing trial for various offences. Delivering his judgment, the President of the GCM, Air Commodore David Aluku, pronounced the six accused personnel guilty of various charges.

“These included their failure to perform military duties, by absconding from the convoy of the deceased former CDS, while it came under attack, as well as conduct to the prejudice of service discipline, for giving false statements.

“The charges against the accused also included other civil offences of criminal conspiracy and miscellaneous offences relating to property, for illegally disposing of 79 rounds of 5.56mm live ammunition issued for the protection of the late CDS, among others.

“While pleading in mitigation, the Defence Counsels urged the court to show leniency, describing the accused persons as first time offenders. The sentences were announced as being subject to confirmation by the Appropriate Superior Authority.”

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