$11.5bn P&ID Arbitral Award: Nigeria wins case in London

A UK judge has dismissed the $6.6billion dollars arbitrary judgment against Nigeria won by briefcase company Process & Industry Development (P&ID) Ltd, over a failed 2010 deal to develop a gas processing plant.

Judge Robin Knowles of the Business and Property Court in London court ruled that the award was obtained by fraud and what has happened in the case is contrary to public policy.

“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.

P&ID had claimed Nigeria violated terms of its agreement by failing to provide gas for the power plant it wants to build for the country.

With the judgement handed down physically in open court, and electronically by email to the parties on Monday, Nigeria succeeded in stopping the enforcement of the award which was initially in favour of P&ID.

The government of Former president Goodluck Jonathan reached an out-of-tribunal agreement for the payment of $850 million and passed on disbursement to the administration of President Buhari.

Buhari baulked at the idea of paying the negotiated sum, set aside the settlement agreement, and challenged the enforcement of the award before the English Commercial Court. But the London court added $2.4 billion in interest, making it $9bn.

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.

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