Mike Ozezhome

Legal practitioner, Mike Ozekhome, has warned the Nigerian Government to exercise caution in complying with the order of a British court asking for the seizure of $9bn assets over a breach of contract.

According to the popular lawyer, forfeiting such huge amount in assets could cripple Nigeria’s economy.

Ozekhome gave the warning in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, the country’s capital.

He said the only option left for the government is to appeal the judgement and ask the court for stay of execution to avoid the dire consequences.

He stated, “Recently, a British court ordered the seizure of Nigeria's foreign assets to satisfy a judgement debt. This sum is surely over N3.2trn.

“This is an order, which, if carried out, will simply cripple Nigeria, whose entire 2019 budget for the whole country is N8.92trn only.

“The best option thus open to the government to halt the looming disaster of attaching her foreign assets to the tune of $9bn is to immediately appeal the judgement and ask the court for stay of execution.” 

Speaking further, Ozekhome called on the government to hire experienced lawyers in the United Kingdom to stem the impending disaster that will eclipse the country. 

He said, “It is a matter of cold law and facts. Let the government hire experienced legal hands in the UK immediately to stem this impending disaster that will eclipse all of us, without exception.” 

A court in London had granted the prayers of Process and Industrial Developments Ltd, a gas firm, to seize Nigeria’s assets to the tune of $9bn over an aborted gas project.

The company was awarded $6.6bn in an arbitration decision over the failed project to build a gas processing plant in Calabar. 

With interest payments, the sum is now over $9bn – about 20 per cent of Nigeria's foreign reserves.

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