Nigeria Yet to Settle N150 Billion Judgement Debt - AGF

5 November 2019

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation, has said Nigeria is owing over N150 billion in judgement debt.

Mr Malami disclosed this while speaking on Channels Television Newsnight on Monday.

Judgement debt is a damage or other monetary award pronounced upon by a court of competent jurisdiction. According to the law, there are two parties in the enforcement of a judgment.

The judgment creditor (any person/group/government for the time being entitled to enforce a judgment) and the judgement debtor (a person/group/government liable under a judgment).

Speaking on Monday, Mr Malami said: "there exists over N150 billion judgment debt against the interest of the federal government, as at 2015, when this government came into being".

He added that, "Our national assets all over the globe are experiencing one threat or the other, targeted at enforcing these judgments."

According to the minister, some judgement debts are obtained through "compromise, fraud and corrupt practices" and as such "the Federal Government has the responsibility of striking a balance between genuine judgments (and) fraudulent judgements."

Speaking on the P&ID gas deal, which included the award of a $9.6 billion judgment debt, Mr Malami argued that it was "illegal".

President Muhammadu Buhari, according to the AGF, has ordered "an investigation, directing agencies of government, including to look into the circumstances that led to the (P&ID) award."

Mr Malami said the report has shown that "the tribunal was misled into making an award because of the inherent falsehood in the witness deposition."

"Arising from the conduct of investigations, we have, as a nation this time around, decided to initiate an action seeking to nullify the contract, having been obtained and executed in material breaches.

"The principal characters in P&ID Nigeria admitted to wrongdoings and they were charged to court, pleaded guilty and were convicted. Arising from that conviction there was an incidental order winding off P&ID Nigeria and forfeiture of their assets. We are also taking steps to give effect to these orders," Mr Malami said.

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