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Nigeria wins $11bn P&ID case in UK court



Justice Robin Knowles of the Commercial Courts of England and Wales has ruled in favour of Nigeria and quashed the enforcement of the $11 billion arbitration award in favour of Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Ltd.

President Bola Tinubu, who applauded the judgement, said the country’s victory in court was for the long-exploited African continent.

The judge, in a ruling delivered by email yesterday, upheld Nigeria’s prayer on the ground that the ill-fated gas processing contract was obtained by fraud.

Recall that P&ID had entered into an agreement with Nigeria in 2010 to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State, but the company said the deal collapsed because the Nigerian government did not fulfil its end of the bargain.

Claiming Nigeria breached the terms of the contract, P&ID took a legal recourse and secured an arbitral award against the country.

However, a private arbitration tribunal had on January 31, 2017, ordered Nigeria to pay $6.6 billion to P&ID plus interest beginning from March 20, 2013.

Following the judgement, Nigeria applied for an extension of time and relief from sanctions.

The application was granted by Judge Ross Cranston of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales in September 2020.

With the interest rate fixed at seven per cent, amounting to $1 million a day, the potential payment had accumulated to over $11 billion before the verdict.

Nigeria had alleged that the gas deal was a scam conceived to defraud the country. Lawyers representing the federal government told the court that P&ID officials paid bribes to secure the contract.

But P&ID denied the allegation and accused the Nigerian government of “false allegations and wild conspiracy theories”

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