‘Awards Obtained By Fraud’, Nigeria Wins $11bn P&ID Case

Justice Robin Knowles of the Commercial Courts of England and Wales has ruled in favour of Nigeria in the enforcement of a $11bn Process & Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) arbitration award.

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.

According to the judge, the award against Nigeria by the company was obtained by fraud.

“In the circumstances and for the reasons I have sought to describe and explain, Nigeria succeeds on 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,” Justice Knowles ruled.

In January 2017, a private arbitration tribunal ordered Nigeria to pay $6.6bn to P&ID with interest starting from May 2013. Before the verdict, the interest fixed at seven percent ($1m daily) had accumulated to over $11bn.

Subsequently, Nigeria filed an appeal against the enforcement of the award and the court granted the relief sought by the country in September 2020. The Nigerian side argued that there was enough evidence that the contract and the arbitration award were procured by fraud.

The Nigerian side thereby urged the court to set the award aside, saying that some individuals in the case were being tried for money laundering and graft.

In his ruling, the judge not only agreed that the arbitration awards were obtained by fraud but also that they were procured contrary to public policy.

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Comfort Samuel

I work with TV360 Nigeria, as a broadcast journalist, producer and reporter. I'm so passionate on what I do.

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