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

The Federal Government of Nigeria has won the legal case against Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Limited in a London court on Monday.

The judgment was delivered after five years of legal frameworks which have finally been to the advantage of Nigeria, as the court quashed the $11 billion arbitration award in favour of P&ID.

In a ruling delivered by e-mail, Robin Knowles, the Justice of the Commercial Courts of England and Wales, upheld Nigeria’s prayer on the ground that the ill-fated gas processing contract was obtained by fraud.

The UK judge dismissed the $6.6 billion arbitrary judgment against Nigeria of which interests have increased to $11.5 billion over a failed contract to develop a gas processing plant.

Judge Knowles ruled that the awards were obtained by fraud and that what had transpired in the case were contrary to public policy.

The Business and Property Court in London delivered the judgment in a case between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Limited.

This ruling came after the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, urged the bid winners for the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), to hasten site development.

Meanwhile, the federal government, alongside its partners has begun the deployment of tiny tankers for the transportation of crude oil through the creeks of the Niger Delta, following a protracted inability to fix the often-vandalised pipelines in the region.

P&ID had agreed with Nigeria in 2010 to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State, but the company said the contract failed because the Nigerian government did not fulfill 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.

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 per cent.

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

The application was granted by Ross Cranston, a judge of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, in September 2020, thereby returning the case to arbitration.

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”.

In a March trial at the court, Nigeria alleged that the contract was secured through dishonest means that included bribery and perjury and that the arbitration award, which has now risen to $11 billion because of interests, should be quashed.

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