Nigeria secures landmark victory in P&ID contract suit

The Federal Government has secured a landmark victory in its pursuit to overturn a $10 billion judgment awarded against it in a case against Process and Industrial Developments. The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in a statement in Abuja on Friday said the court has granted Nigeria’s application for an extension of time and relief from sanctions due to the exceptional circumstances where the government has uncovered evidence of massive fraud in procuring the award. Malami said the Court heard evidence from the government and the offshore shell company P&ID in relation to the gas supply and processing agreement. This agreement was entered into by the parties 10 years ago and which was never performed. Malami said the Buhari-led administration, having inherited the dispute from the previous administration, only recently uncovered evidence that the GSPA was a sham commercial deal. The contract, he said, was designed to fail from the start, and its subsequent arbitral award was based on fraud and corruption. He said the government relied on a number of ongoing investigations across multiple jurisdictions, including the United States of America, to build its case. He said the government would proceed to a full trial of the issues, where its substantive application to finally set aside the award would be heard. Malami added that the government of Nigeria was pleased with the outcome from the High Court hearing. He said: “This is a major victory in our ongoing fight against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID, to overturn the injustice of the multi-billion dollar arbitral award. “In light of the new and substantive evidence presented regarding P&ID’s fraudulent and corrupt activities, the Court has granted our application for an extension of time to hear our challenge out of normal time limits. “The Federal Government will now proceed to a full hearing of our fraud challenge in the coming months.”

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