An Irish firm, which won a world record $9.6bn arbitration fine against the Federal Government, has instructed its lawyers to identify Nigeria’s assets that can be targeted to recover the money.

The company confirmed in an electronic mail to our correspondent that it was focussed on identifying Nigeria’s assets that could be seized in the process of enforcing the decision of an arbitration tribunal which was recently converted to a court judgment.

In the email response to The PUNCH on Sunday, the company hinted at the possibility of seizing Nigerian naval vessels or oil cargoes, citing the Argentinean and Venezuelan experiences as precedents.

In the email sent by the P&ID’s representative, Mr John Ehiguese, the company said, “We cannot confirm specifics. However, the P&ID’s legal team is working diligently to identify and target assets that may be used for enforcement of the tribunal award.

“There have been many successful enforcement cases against sovereign states in the past.

“In the case against Argentina, creditors detained an Argentine naval vessel; in the case against Venezuela, there was the seizure of state-owned oil cargo. There is a wide range of potential assets.”

However, the company did not rule out the possibility of alternative resolution of the fine, which has the potential of wiping out 20 percent of the country’s foreign reserves.

The company in an email response to one of our correspondent’s questions said the onus was upon the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to show good faith and enter into reasonable negotiations.

It stated, “The real question is: is the Nigerian Government willing to enter good-faith negotiations? The ball is now in the court of the Buhari Administration to demonstrate a mature, good-faith approach to a resolution; their legal arguments have been completely rejected.

Source: Punch Newspaper

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