President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo separately approved negotiation with Messrs Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) after the Arbitration Tribunal awarded $6.597billion to the company.
The Vice President gave the approval on April 18, 2017, following the recommendations of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), which included a negotiation with P&ID.
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Federal Government’s team to meet with P&ID counsel on July 12 and 13 in New York.
Based on Osinbajo’s approval, the AGF and the then Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu, and a delegation along with counsel Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, on May 16, 2017, met with representatives of P & ID and its counsel to negotiate the judgment debt.
The government team initially on May 16, 2017 succeeded in negotiating the judgment debt from $8.4billion, to which it had risen, to $600million.
But P & ID rejected the offer on the grounds that what was agreed on to be executed was a Draft Stay of Enforcement Agreement and not a Settlement Agreement as proposed by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government could however offer $250million which P&ID rejected.
These are contained in a fact-sheet by the Federal Government which underscored the fact that the Federal Government had been proactive in addressing the judgment debt.
The document said although a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), recommended an amicable settlement with P&ID, the “ proposed settlement broke down.”
The government said the “settlement could not be reached before the time for report of settlement elapsed, therefore proceedings resumed at the Tribunal for determination.”
The fact-sheet gave insights into how the nation ran into a deeper crisis on the gas agreement with P&ID.