The Federal Government of Nigeria has won the legal case against Process & Industrial Developments, P&ID, Limited in a London Court on Monday.
In the case marked CL-2019-000752, the Federal Government sought to overturn an arbitration award in favour of P&ID which has now accrued interest worth $11 billion.
The judgment came after five years of legal frameworks that had finally worked in Nigeria’s favor.
According to the company, it entered into an agreement with Nigeria in 2010 to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State, but the deal fell through because the Nigerian government did not keep 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 percent.
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.
In September, it was reported that representatives of P&ID were actively seeking negotiations with the Federal Government to reach an out-of-court settlement.
However, in a ruling delivered by e-mail, the Justice of the Commercial Court, Robin Knowles upheld Nigeria’s prayer on the ground that the ill-fated gas processing contract was obtained by fraud.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government, alongside its partners has commenced 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.