Presidency hails UK court ruling on P&ID
The Presidency has hailed the judgment by the United Kingdom (UK) court granting Nigeria’s application for an extension of time and relief from sanctions in a $10billion arbitration case with Process and Industrious Development Limited (P&ID) in Nigeria.
The Presidency described the judgment as right, just and providing a strong prima facie case that the fraudulent gas deal with P&ID and the subsequent judgment debt of $10billion against Nigeria was a clear attempt to cheat the country of billions of dollars by a company that had not invested one naira in Nigeria.
On the arbitration award, the Presidency said it is a source of huge satisfaction that the UK court, among others, had ruled that Nigeria has established a strong prima facie case that the Gas Supply and Processing (GSPA) was procured by bribes paid to insiders as part of a larger scheme to defraud Nigeria, as well as that “there is a strong prima facie case that (P&ID) main witness in the arbitration, Mr. Quinn, gave a perjured evidence to the Tribunal and that contrary to that evidence, P&ID was not in the position to perform the contract.”
It expressed delight with the processes that led to ruling, saying it has given relief to the Nigerian government to further protect its national assets from criminally- minded organisations and individuals.
It said the views of the UK court thus provide sufficient grounds for the Federal Government to go ahead and challenge the frauds perpetrated by the company and overturn the arbitration award.
It quoted President Muhammadu Buhari as commending the team of lawyers who represented Nigeria in the matter, reassuring all well-meaning Nigerians and the international community of his unwavering commitment to fight corruption in all its forms and manifestation.
The court had allowed the Federal Government to bring the challenge well outside the normal time limits due to the exceptional circumstances where it has uncovered evidence of a massive fraud in procuring the award.
It heard evidence from the government and the offshore shell company, P&ID, in relation to the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement (GSPA) the parties entered into 10 years ago and which was never performed.
The Buhari administration, having inherited this dispute from the previous administration, only recently uncovered evidence that the GSPA was a sham commercial deal designed to fail from the start and that its subsequent arbitral award was based on fraud and corruption.
The government relied on a number of ongoing investigations across multiple jurisdictions, including the United States, to build its case, presenting new evidence, during hearing, to further support Nigeria’s challenge.
With this, the Federal Government would now proceed to a full trial of the issues, where its substantive application to finally set aside the award would be heard in the coming months.
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