Nigeria is set to face a threshold hearing in its legal tussle with Process and Industrial Development (P&ID); an Irish engineering firm over a $9.6bn arbitration award.
The hearing is set to take place in an English Commercial Court on July 13 and 14, 2020.
The latest hearing has been touted in the British media as the next legal moment in the ongoing battle between the Federal Government and P&ID. Specifically, the case was filed after a disagreement between both parties over the building of a gas-processing plant in Nigeria.
The Federal Government has maintained its stance that the deal was steeped in corruption. On the other hand, P&ID insists that it was involved in no wrongdoing. Further, it claims that the FG reneged on a legally-binding agreement.
Meanwhile, the agreement between Nigeria and P&ID collapsed in 2010. Subsequently, the Irish-owned firm had dragged the Nigerian government to court. It had then won a $6.6bn arbitration award. Equally important, the initial sum has been accruing interest since 2013 and is now in the region of $9.6bn.
Reports in the British media indicate that the hearing in the Commercial Court in London will address two threshold issues. The first is Nigeria’s application for an extension of time to bring its set-aside application. Also, the Federal Government is seeking relief from sanctions in respect of the delay in bringing the applications.
Nevertheless, P&ID remains confident of its chances of winning the case.
“The July hearing will not change the facts that Nigeria’s claims are fanciful and have no merit. The previous rulings of the Tribunal, and the Court, in favour of P&ID have not changed. This is Nigeria’s last chance saloon,” a spokesman for P&ID told The Independent, UK.