On Tuesday, a U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. gave judgment affirming a $6.59 billion arbitral award, plus $2.30 billion interest, against Nigeria.
The judgment was given after the country failed to show up in court to defend the matter.
The naira value of the amount came to about N2.7 trillion (at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s rate of N306 to one U.S Dollar).
Just as the judgment was handed down, Akelicious became aware that the country would have paid less than 10 per cent of the $8.9 billion award if the Muhammadu Buhari administration had acted in line with the recommendation passed to it by the preceding Goodluck Jonathan regime.
But rather than take the recommended action, the Buhari administration scorned at the settlement agreement its predecessor signed with Process & Industrial Development Limited (P&ID), the engineering firm fighting Nigeria for breach of contract.
Official documents reviewed by Akelicious show that a government negotiation team constituted by Mr. Jonathan successfully negotiated an out-of-tribunal settlement with P&ID and got the company to accept an $850 million payment, about 9.6 per cent of the $8.9billion award.
However, the present administration ignored that settlement and rather asked its lawyers to return to the tribunal to further contest the engineering firm’s claims.
The tribunal then ruled against Nigeria, awarding $6.6 billion in favour of the British Virgin Island’s firm.