The Senate on Tuesday summoned the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to brief it on the details of the $9.6billion judgement awarded against Nigeria and the details of the 2010 Gas contract to the Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Limited.
This followed a motion for a matter of urgent public importance moved by the Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District.
Also to appear before relevant committees of the Senate on the matter include officials of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and professional arbitrators engaged on behalf of the Federal Government in that regard.
In his lead debate, Senator Bamidele, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, noted that the motion was for the need to invite the Honorable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami and other relevant stakeholders to brief relevant committees of the Senate on the award of $9.6billion against the Federal Government of Nigeria, by a United Kingdom Court in the matter of P&ID – Process & Industrial Development Limited versus Federal Government of Nigeria.
He called on the Senate to note with concern that “Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora have become apprehensive while several committees of the Senate have over the last few weeks received several petitions and other direct and circumstantial information on the ongoing legal imbroglio involving the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and by extension the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United Kingdom firm known as Process and Industrial Development Limited, herein after referred to as P&ID.”
He urged the Senate to be aware that in January 2010, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, acting on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria executed a Gas supply processing agreement with P&ID whereby Nigeria was to supply zero cost natural gas to P&ID through a pipeline to be constructed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to P&ID processing facility.
He said that under the terms of the TSPA which had a tenor of 20 years, from the date of first supply of wet Gas, P&ID had an obligation to process the wet gas and deliver the derivative to the Federal Government free of charge for power generation while taking any other residual liquid itself at no cost.
He said that based on the facts of the case, P&ID served a notice of arbitration on the Federal Government in 2012 on the ground that Nigeria repudiated its obligation under the terms of the TSPA by defaulting to make wet Gas available to it.
He said that the Senate is also aware that a commercial court in the United Kingdom in the suit referred to has ruled that the Federal Government must pay the British firm – Process and Industrial Development Limited – a sum of $9.6billion or have its assets to the tune of that amount forfeited.
He urged the Senate to be alarmed that the UK Court’s decision converted the subsequent arbitral award into a domestic judgement against the Federal Republic of Nigeria thereby creating a situation where Nigeria’s asset around the world, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States of America risk being taken over by P&ID or its agents.
He lamented that the damages awarded to P&ID were “manifestly excessive, exorbitant, punitive and a big threat to the economic well-being and security of Nigeria.”
He added: “The Senate is deeply concerned that the issues arising from the default aforesaid as well as the consequential arbitration, court proceedings and the ensuing award against Nigeria have thus far been concealed from the Senate and the entire National Assembly.”
He observed that the principal role of the National Assembly, is among others, “to undertake oversight of all government ministries, departments and agencies or amend subsisting laws of the Federation of Nigeria, for the proper functioning and good governance of the country which power is