All Nigeria Latest News reports that the Business and Property Court in London, in a case marked CL-2019-000752, on Monday, halted the enforcement of the $11 billion arbitration award in favor of P&ID against Nigeria.
Justice Robert Knowles, in his delivered judgment, ruled that the process by which P&ID secured a 2010 contract to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State, was deemed fraudulent.
“In the circumstances and for the reasons I have sought to describe and explain. Nigeria succeeds in its challenge under section 68. I have not accepted all of Nigeria’s allegations. But the Awards were obtained by fraud and the Awards were and the way in which they were procured was contrary to public policy.
“What happened in this case is very serious indeed, and it is important that section 68 has been available to maintain the rule of law,” Justice Knowles said in his ruling, a copy of which was sighted by our correspondent in Abuja.
All Nigeria Latest News had reported that Nigeria has been entangled in a long-standing dispute with Process & Industrial over the years. The company accused the Nigerian government of derailing a deal by not supplying the agreed-upon gas.
In 2017, Nigeria faced a significant setback with a $6.6 billion judgment debt when the arbitration tribunal ruled in favor of P&ID, ordering the country to make the payment with interest, dating back to March 2013.
P&ID asserted in its claims that Nigeria breached the terms of the agreement by not supplying the gas required for the power plant the company intended to construct for the country.
During the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan, an out-of-tribunal agreement was reached for the payment of $850 million, and the disbursement was subsequently handed over to the administration of President Buhari.
President Buhari resisted the notion of paying the agreed-upon sum, set aside the settlement agreement, and contested the enforcement of the award before the English Commercial Court. However, the London court added $2.4 billion in interest, resulting in a total of $9 billion.
The judge granted Nigeria’s request for a stay on any asset seizures while its legal challenge is pending but ordered it to pay $200 million to the court within 60 days to ensure the stay. It also must pay some court costs to P&ID within 14 days.
The original decision on August 16 converted an arbitration award held by P&ID to a legal judgment, which would allow the British Virgin Islands-based firm to try to seize international assets.
In 2018, Nigeria initiated an investigation into the company through the EFCC and uncovered evidence of two bank transfers amounting to $20,000. These transfers were made by Dublin-based Industrial Consultants (International) Ltd., a part of the P&ID group of companies, to Grace Taiga, a Nigerian government lawyer responsible for overseeing the award of the gas plant contract.