Chinese Seizes Two Nigerian Govt Properties in UK Following Court Order, Targets More in 4 Countries

Chinese Seizes Two Nigerian Govt Properties in UK Following Court Order, Targets More in 4 Countries

  • Two Nigerian government properties in the UK face potential takeover by a Chinese company following a legal battle
  • The Chinese company was granted the two properties located in Liverpool, estimated to be worth a combined £1.7 million
  • The Nigerian government is not giving up and is ready to appeal the judgement as the company targets more properties in 4 countries journalist Dave Ibemere has over a decade of business journalism experience with in-depth knowledge of the Nigerian economy, stocks, and general market trends.

Following a court order, a Chinese Company, Zhongshan Fucheng Industrial Investment, is on the verge of taking over two Nigerian government residential properties in the United Kingdom.

The two properties are in prime areas of Liverpool and are estimated to be worth a combined £1.7 million.

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China investor seizes Nigerian government properties in UK
Nigerian Vice President Kashim Shettima with Chinese President Xi Jinping Photo: Presidency of Nigeria/Anadolu
Source: Getty Images

Why Chinese investor is eyeing government property

Leadership reports that the Chinese firm dragged the Nigerian government to court over a joint venture to establish a free trade zone in Ogun state close to Lagos in 2013.

A Zhongshan subsidiary held a 60% stake in the project, but Ogun terminated its participation three years later.

The company was not happy and dragged the Nigerian government to court.

In 2021, a London-seated United Nations Commission On International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) tribunal chaired by Lord Neuberger, including Matthew Gearing KC and Rotimi Oguneso SAN, ruled that Nigeria was guilty of expropriation and other breaches of the China-Nigeria bilateral investment treaty and ordered the country to pay US$55.6 million plus interest and costs.

The Nigerian government is reported not to have obeyed the court order,

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Zhongshan then dragged the Nigerian government again to court.

On June 14, 2024, Master Sullivan of the Commercial Court in London granted orders for two Nigerian government properties in Liverpool to be handed over to the company.

Nigerian govt fights back

Reacting, Timi Balogun of Squire Patton Boggs, counsel to Nigeria, expressed disagreement with the decision, citing concerns over state immunity and the management of foreign state assets.

However, the judge dismissed the argument, noting that the order was premised on the fact that the properties had been converted to commercial use outside Nigeria’s diplomatic or consular activities in the UK. The judge also held that enforcement of the order should prevail.

It is understood that Nigeria's counsels in the case plan to appeal the judgement.

Zhongshan also plans to pursue enforcement of the case in the US, Quebec (Canada), Belgium, and the British Virgin Islands.

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Nigeria’s public debt surges under Tinubu reported that data by the Debt Management Office (DMO) revealed that Nigeria’s public debt hit about N97.34 trillion as of Q4 2023.

DMO stated this in a statement on Friday, March 22, 2024. The DMO said Nigeria’s public debt, as of December 31, 2023, stood at 97.34 trillion or $108.22 billion.

Proofreading by James Ojo Adakole, journalist and copy editor at


Dave Ibemere avatar

Dave Ibemere (Senior Business Editor) Dave Ibemere is a senior business editor at He is a financial journalist with over a decade of experience in print and online media. He also holds a Master's degree from the University of Lagos. He is a member of the African Academy for Open-Source Investigation (AAOSI), the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and other media think tank groups. He previously worked with The Guardian, BusinessDay, and headed the business desk at Ripples Nigeria. Email: