The Process and Industrial Developments, on Sunday, expressed its readiness to negotiate with Nigeria over the $9.6bn judgment of a United Kingdom court that may authorise the company to seize the nation’s assets to offset the judgment debt.
The company, however, advised the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to “appoint an authorised party to enter into real negotiations” instead of what it called the Nigeria’s “baseless slander and sham investigations against the P&ID and its founders.”
This was contained in a reply to The PUNCH’s enquiry about the company’s attitude towards the Federal Government’s offer to negotiate with the P&ID over the judgment.
The PUNCH’s enquiry was sent to the P&ID’s lead counsel, Ian Mill, a Queen’s Counsel, of the UK-based Blackstone Chambers, on Friday.
The PUNCH’s mail was replied on behalf of Mill on Sunday, by an Assistant Director at the UK-based public relations firm, iNHouse Communications, advising Nigeria to accept the reality of the ruling of the arbitration panel and the UK court’s judgment and desist from its “campaign of baseless slander.”
The reply quoting, “a spokesperson for the P&ID,” read in part, “If the Nigerian government is serious about a willingness to negotiate, then it must do so in good faith.
“This means that the Buhari administration must acknowledge the reality of the rulings of the independent tribunal and the English Commercial Court, desist from its campaign of baseless slander and sham investigations against the P&ID and its founders, and instead appoint an authorised party to enter into real negotiations.”
The firm, however, added that it would continue to seek to identify and seize Nigeria’s assets while it determined the country’s seriousness about negotiation over the judgment in a matter of days.
It stated, “The coming days will tell if the Nigerian government is serious, or if this is simply another delaying tactic.
“In the meantime, the P&ID will continue its efforts to identify and seize Nigerian assets to satisfy the debt.”