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P&ID: UK Court Grants Nigeria Relief From $9bn Judgment Debt

Nigeria has won its case against the Process & Industrial Developments Limited and has been granted relief from paying the $9 billion judgment debt.

Recall that in August 2019, a British judge ordered the Nigerian government to pay $9 billion in assets to the firm.

The P&ID had reached a deal with the Nigerian government in 2010 to build a natural gas plant – but the deal fell through two years later. The firm then sued the government for failing to provide the gas or install the pipelines it had promised to build.

The firm was first awarded $6.6bn (£5.4bn) in 2017, but the London court added $2.4bn in interest.

The Nigerian government thereafter filed “new and substantive” allegations of fraud in a bid to overturn the award.

In a judgment on Friday, Judge Ross Cranston of the High Court of Justice Queen’s Bench Division Commercial Court, London, United Kingdom, granted Nigeria’s applications for an extension of time and relief from the sanctions.

On the allegations of fraud against P&ID in securing the contract, the judge held that Nigeria established “a strong prima facie case that the GSPA was procured by bribes paid to insiders as part of a larger scheme to defraud Nigeria.”

“There is also a strong prima facie case that P&ID’s main witness in the arbitration, Mr Quinn, gave perjured evidence to the Tribunal and that, contrary to that evidence, P&ID was not in the position to perform the contract,” he said.

Judge Cranston held that P&ID “has contributed to the delay, and it will not by reason of the delay suffer irremediable prejudice in addition to the mere loss of time if the application is permitted to proceed.”

“Although not a primary factor, fairness in the broadest sense favours an extension in this case,” the judge added.

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