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Court Awards Nigeria 20m Pounds Against P&ID

Nigeria has recorded a fresh legal victory over the Irish firm, Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID), after a London court awarded £20 million in damages and compensation in favour of the federal government.

Justice Robin Knowles of the Business and Property Court of England and Wales directed the firm to pay, within 28 days, the costs which Nigeria applied for to defray its legal fees.

The court had, on October 23,upturned an $11 billion judgment debt which P & ID wanted enforced against Nigeria.

In his final pronouncement on the case on Friday, Knowles rejected a proposal by the firm to pay the costs in Naira.

He also dismissed in its entirety the judgement debt which had been awarded against Nigeria by an arbitration tribunal.

Counsel to Nigeria, invoking the common law principle of “fraud unravels all” had argued that the award be set aside in its entirety.

However, P & ID applied to the court to appeal the October judgement.

The tribunal first issued a $6.6billion arbitration award against Nigeria in January 2017 after the firm accused the Federal Government of reneging on an alleged 2010 contract with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to construct and operate a new gas processing facility in Calabar.

The award, according to P&ID lawyers claim, had grown to $11.4 billion on account of interest.

Nigeria subsequently approached the Business and Property Court praying it to dismiss the award.

The court upheld Nigeria’s prayers and said the firm actually paid Nigerian officials to draft the contract agreement.

It also found that P&ID was illegally in possession of Nigeria’s privileged legal documents during the arbitration hearings.

Nigeria was able to provide the court with banking records from New York showing fund transfers to Nigerian government officials by entities allegedly affiliated with P&ID, as well as evidence of large, unexplained cash withdrawals from a P&ID affiliated entity’s Nigerian bank account around the time the contract was signed.

Nigeria, according to the terms of the purported contract, was to supply natural gas at no cost to P&ID’s facility while the company would construct and operate the facility.

The company was to process the gas for the purpose of removing natural gas liquids and return lean gas to Nigeria at no cost.

The understanding was that the lean gas so supplied would be suitable for use in power generation and other purposes.

Nigeria insisted that the contract was based on an unsolicited proposal presented by P&ID.

It also said no tender was conducted in respect of the project and the company even had no experience or assets in the gas sector to handle a contract of that magnitude.

 

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