BREAKING: UK COURT GRANTS NIGERIA RELIEF FROM $10 BILLION P&ID FINE
The Business and Property Courts of England and Wales on Friday granted Nigeria’s application for an extension of time and relief from a $10 billion sanction by the Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID).
The ruling is a landmark victory for Nigeria in its efforts to fight against a failed gas project which the country claims was procured on the basis of fraud and corruption.
Delivering his judgement on Friday, September 4 Ross Cranston said: “It is not my function at this preliminary stage to decide whether a fraud took place.”
However, it has been necessary to consider a considerable amount of the material to decide firstly, whether, as Nigeria contended, there is a prima facie case of fraud and how strong that case is, and secondly, the steps Nigeria took to investigate the alleged fraud from late 2015.
“Both matters are relevant to the issues of whether Nigeria’s claim is barred altogether and whether time should be extended in its favour and relief from sanctions granted.”
P&ID DEAL EXPLAINED
In 2010, Nigeria and a British Virgin Islands-based Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) company allegedly entered into a gas supply and processing agreement.
In the supposed deal P&ID was to build a gas processing plant for the Nigeria government to supply with gas.
The deal fell apart without any construction taking place, but P&ID claimed it had spent up to $40 million on a design and feasibility study.
In 2012, P&ID initiated arbitration and in 2017, got awarded by a UK tribunal, a $6.6 billion compensation which included interests based on what it could have earned in 20 years. The interest has accumulated up to $10 BILLION.
Investigations carried out by Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies revealed that the contract was based on fraud and corruption, the country’s attorney Abubakar Malami said in 2019.