Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The United State based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute has ordered InterOcean to pay the Federal Government of Nigeria the sum of $660,129.87 as reimbursement of its share of the arbitration costs incurred in the proceedings.
The Tribunal headed by Prof William Park further absolved Nigeria of any liability, maintaining that it did not breach any of its obligations in the contract agreement with Interocean Development Company and Interocean Oil Exploration Company.
The oil companies had claimed the sum of $1.5 billon from the Nigerian government as aggravated damages and cost of the arbitral proceedings.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami, disclosed this on Wednesday.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Gwandu, the judgment of the tribunalwas delivered on Tuesday.
According to the statement: ‘The oil companies that has among its legal team, Mr Olasupo Shasore, SAN, requested, among others, relief from the Tribunal directing the Federal Government of Nigeria, its relevant privies and instrumentalities to pay aggravated damages in an amount to be proven during these arbitral proceedings which the Claimants estimate at being in excess of US$ 1.5 Billion (One Billion Five hundred Million United States Dollars).
‘However, the Tribunal finds that the Federal of Government of Nigeria has not breached its obligations toward Claimants under Nigerian law or under international law.
‘The Tribunal finds no liability on the part of Respondent in connection with Claimants’ loss of control over their investment, Pan Ocean,’ the judgment reads in part.
Meanwhile, Malami described the judgment as an addition to the multiple success stories recorded in international litigations by the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The AGF, who renewed his commitment to patriotically and relentlessly discharge his constitutional mandates in the best interest of the nation and general public, said ‘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.’