Nigeria: InterOcean Oil - Govt Secures Victory At U.S. Tribunal, Relieved of $1.5bn Liability

(file photo).
7 October 2020

Abuja — The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute, ICSID, based in the United States of America, has ordered Interocean Oil Development Company and Interocean Oil Exploration Company, to pay a cost of $660,129.87 to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, who made the disclosure in a statement on Wednesday, said the tribunal that was led by Professor William Park, also relieved Nigeria of $1.5 billion liability.

The ruling followed an arbitration case the multinational oil firm initiated against Nigeria in 2013.

The dispute bordered on an alleged breach of contract in an oil exploration and production joint venture.

Malami, in the statement that was signed by his media aide, Dr Umar Gwandu, said the tribunal, in a judgement it delivered on Tuesday, absolved the Federal Government of Nigeria from any liability.

He said the tribunal found that Nigeria did not breach any of its obligations in the contract agreement with Interocean Development Company and Interocean Oil Exploration Company.

According to the statement, "The oil companies that has among its legal team, Mr Olasupo Shasore, SAN requested, among others, relief from the Tribunal directing the Federal Government of Nigeria, its relevant privies and instrumentalities to pay aggravated damages in an amount to be proven during these arbitral proceedings which the Claimants estimate at being in excess of US $1.5 billion (One Billion Five hundred Million United States Dollars)".

"The Tribunal finds no liability on the part of Respondent in connection with Claimants' loss of control over their investment, Pan Ocean," the Judgment read in part.

Malami described the judgment as an addition to multiple success stories the Federal Ministry of Justice has recorded in international litigations.

The AGF said he was committed to patriotically and relentlessly discharge his constitutional mandates in the best interest of the nation and general public, saying "gone was such an era of connivance to deprive the nation of its resources for gratifying ulterior motives of vested interest at the expense of the Nigeria populace".

He said the tribunal awarded $660, 000 as reimbursement to Nigeria to cover the cost it incurred in the arbitration proceedings.

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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