P&ID: FG files fraud charges to overturn $10bn court ruling

P&ID: FG files fraud charges to overturn $10bn court ruling

The Federal Government has launched a fresh lawsuit challenging the $9.6billion award made against it; in respect of the controversial gas supply contracted purportedly awarded to an Irish firm, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Limited.

The filing has been expected for months; as the window to appeal the award expired; and proving fraud or corruption in the foundation of the P&ID contract is the only way to overturn it.

“Nigeria’s new filings with the English Court is an act of desperation; to try to undo the Court’s sound conclusion that P&ID’s $10 billion award is enforceable,” P&ID said; adding that the award is now worth $10 billion due to interest accrued.

Attorney-General Abubakar Malami has repeatedly said; that an investigation this year by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had uncovered proof of fraud.

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“The challenge argues that the (contract) was procured on the basis of fraud and corruption; while the subsequent arbitral process was riddled with irregularities and deliberately concealed from the rest of the government,” Malami explained

The attorney general’s office calculates the total to be roughly $9.7 billion.

The EFCC had already charged a former government lawyer with allegedly taking bribes; and charged two Britons with money laundering in relation to the case.

The 2010 deal for P&ID, was set up solely for the project; to build a gas processing plant, and for the government to supply it with gas.

It collapsed without any construction taking place, though P&ID said it spent $40 million on a design and feasibility study.

P&ID initiated arbitration in 2012, and in 2017; a UK tribunal awarded P&ID $6.6 billion, plus interest, based on what it could have earned over two decades.

The award is accruing more than $1 million in interest per day; and is now worth close to a quarter of Nigeria’s foreign reserves.

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