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Monday, November 18

ALSCON: BFI Group to reinstate $2.8 billion US suit against federal government

There are indications that the Federal Government may yet be engaged in another embarrassing legal battle involving BFI Group, which, newsmen gathered, has perfected plans to reinstate a $2.8 billion U.S. law suit over the activation of the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) on the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, to Dayson Holding/UC RUSAL against the Supreme Court’s judgment of July 6, 2012.

In a telephone conversation with Jimmy Williams, BFI Group General Counsel, it was gathered that the implementation of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) judgments by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development was adjudged illegality of the highest order in January 2019.

Williams, who accused the BPE of flouting the order of the Supreme Court, said the October 15, 2014 London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) judgments lacked jurisdiction and was a monumental fraud and corruption against the nation.

“The BPE et al falsely represented and affirmed that it had complied with the Supreme Court judgment of July 6, 2012 – a blatant lie designed to frustrate, rubbish, and undermine the specific order of the apex court.

“On January 11, 2019, the Appeal Court ruled directing BPE to enforce the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria,” Williams said.

The BFI Group counsel disclosed that the BFI Group was expectedly perfecting documents to make demand for over $20 billion in compensation, largely for loss of earnings, reputation, and commitments.

He said: “In 2006, BFI Group Corporation filed $2.8 billion U.S. law suit against UC RUSAL who later joined FGN, et al.

“The U.S. Court of Appeal in New York directed that the case be transferred to Nigeria subject to UC RUSAL willingness to waive all rights to jurisdiction, statute of limitation, service of process, and UC RUSAL complied.

“The FCT High Court heard the matter and ruled that since the Supreme Court of Nigeria had ordered that ALSCON be given to BFI Group, it would be improper to give $2.8 billion, instead BFI Group should vigorously pursue the enforcement of the Supreme Court’s judgment of July 6, 2012.”

He specifically said: “With continued frustration of its attempt to complete the acquisition of ALSCON, BFI Group filed contempt proceedings against BPE for failure to enforce the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, rather than support the use of fraudulent London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) award to rubbish the decision of the nation’s apex court.”

According to Williams, “BFI Group has initiated 49 enforcement proceedings at the Federal High Court, Abuja, but the BPE has continued to frustrate the Supreme Court’s judgment by acknowledging the London Court of International Arbitration ruling over the apex court’s judgment.”

He added: “The moral question of Dayson Holding/UC RUSAL getting the $3.2 billion plant while the allegedly London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) award was only and illegally domesticated through consent recognition and enforcement of final arbitral award issued on October 10, 2019 by the FCT Court, Apo, in Abuja.

“The question of why the BPE is already implementing the LCIA award judgments since January 2018 by activating the SPA in favour of Dayson Holding/UC RUSAL, unlike before the January 2019 Appeal Court judgments affirming the position of the July 6, 2012 Supreme Court’s judgment in favour of BFI Group remains unanswered.”

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