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U.S. panel orders Interocean Oil to pay Nigeria $660,000 arbitration cost

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A United States-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute has ordered Interocean Development Company and Interocean Oil Exploration Company to pay Nigeria $660,129.87 as reimbursement of its share of the arbitration cost incurred during the proceedings.

The tribunal, headed by Professor William Park, also absolved the Federal Government of any liability.

It maintained that the most populous black nation did not breach any of its obligations in the contract entered with the plaintiffs.

The information was contained in a statement issued yesterday by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

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The oil companies through their counsel, Olasupo Shasore (SAN), had requested, among others, a relief from the arbitration body directing the Federal Government, its relevant privies and instrumentalities to pay aggravated damages in an amount to be proven during arbitral proceedings, put in excess of $ 1.5 billion.

According to the statement, in the judgment delivered yesterday, the panel found that the Federal Government never shirked its obligations to the claimants under Nigerian and international laws.

“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.

Commenting on the development, Malami described the ruling as an “addition to the multiple success stories recorded in international litigations by the Federal Ministry of Justice.”

The minister, who renewed commitment to patriotically and relentlessly discharge his constitutional mandates in the interest of the nation and the public, held that the “era of connivance to deprive the nation of its resources for gratifying ulterior motives of vested interest at the expense of the Nigerian populace is gone.”

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