Nigeria has won a landmark legal case against Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Limited in a London court on Monday after a United Kingdom Court squashed the $11 billion arbitration award in favor of the firm, which was found to have been obtained by fraud.
EnergyDay gathered that Justice Robin Knowles of the Commercial Courts of England and Wales in a ruling delivered by e-mail, upheld Nigeria’s prayer on the ground that the ill-fated gas processing contract was obtained by fraud.
President Bola Tinubu in a statement released to the media by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) on Monday, commended the UK Court for prioritizing the merits of the case above all other considerations.
President Tinubu said, “This landmark judgment proves conclusively that nation-states will no longer be held hostage by economic conspiracies between private firms and solitarily corrupt officials who conspire to extort and in debt the very nations they swear to defend and protect.
He said, “Today’s victory is not for Nigeria alone. It is a victory for our long-exploited continent and for the developing world at large, which has for too long been on the receiving end of unjust economic malpractice and overt exploitation.
“Nigeria is appreciative of the tremendous efforts of the defense team and acknowledges the role of the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Attorney-General in the process of defending Nigeria’s interest in this case,” the President stated.
The case centered around a soured Nigerian gas deal with P&ID, a hedge fund-backed firm that faced corruption allegations in court.
EnergyDay gathered that P&ID was awarded a 20-year contract in 2010 to construct and operate a gas processing plant. Based on the terms of the agreement, P&ID was to build and operate an Accelerated Gas Development project which was to be situated at Adiabo in the Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The Nigerian government was to source natural gas from oil mining leases (OMLs) 123 and 67 operated by Addax Petroleum and supply to P&ID to refine into fuel suitable for power generation in the country.
However, P&ID alleged that after signing the agreement, the Nigerian government reneged on its obligation after negotiations were opened with the Cross River State government for the allocation of land for the project.
It added that attempts to settle out-of-court with the Nigerian government failed and thereafter instituted legal actions. P&ID further claimed Nigeria breached the terms of the contract, took a legal recourse, and secured an arbitral award against the country.
On January 31, 2017, a tribunal ruled that Nigeria should pay P&ID $6.6 billion as damages, as well as pre-and post-judgment interest at seven percent.
Following the judgment, Nigeria applied for an extension of time and relief from sanctions, which was granted by Ross Cranston, a judge of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, in September 2020.
The Nigerian government in its defence claimed that the collapsed gas processing project was procured by a campaign of bribery and fraud.
The country therefore succeeded in halting the enforcement of the $11 billion arbitration award in favour of P&ID.