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“Nigerian Win! $11B Gas Deal Scam Exposed, Award Overturned in Landmark Case”

“Nigerian Win! $11B Gas Deal Scam Exposed, Award Overturned in Landmark Case”.

A London court has overturned the $11 billion damages charge brought against Nigeria by Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Limited, a gas company, pertaining to a failed gas processing project in Cross River, Nigeria.

Reuters reported the court’s ruling, stating that the gas processing project was secured through a bribe paid to Nigerian oil ministry officials.

Judge Robin Knowles, delivering the judgment, highlighted that P&ID had not disclosed the bribery when pursuing arbitration against Nigeria. Consequently, the court deemed the damages invalid and dismissed P&ID’s plea for a return to arbitration.

Previously, in October, the High Court had determined that the contract obtained by P&ID was through bribery and fraud, a ruling also made by Judge Robin Knowles.

Additionally, earlier this month, Judge Knowles ordered Process & Industrial Developments Limited to compensate the Nigerian government with £20 million in damages and compensation. This verdict followed P&ID’s attempt to restart arbitration against Nigeria for an alleged breach of a 2010 gas supply agreement, which the High Court rejected due to the 2023 judgment.

The court findings revealed that P&ID had engaged in bribery with Nigerian officials involved in the formulation of the gas supply and processing agreement (GSPA) in 2010.

The protracted legal battle dates back to January 31, 2017, when a tribunal instructed Nigeria to pay P&ID $6.6 billion in damages, along with pre- and post-judgment interest at a rate of 7%. This decision was later ratified by Ross Cranston, a judge within the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, in September 2020.

During court proceedings, the Nigerian government’s legal representatives alleged that P&ID executives had employed bribery to secure the contract. P&ID denied these accusations, countering that the government’s claims were baseless and unsupported conspiracy theories.

In a recent hearing held in March, Nigeria argued that the contract had been obtained deceitfully, involving bribery and perjury, leading to an escalation of the arbitration award to $11 billion due to accrued interest.

Judge Robin Knowles, presiding over the UK court, ruled in favor of Nigeria, emphasizing, “I have not accepted all of Nigeria’s allegations. However, the arbitration awards were obtained by fraud and the awards were, and the way in which they were procured was, contrary to public policy.”

[via]

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