In Fresh Lawsuit Nigeria Challenges P&ID Gas Contract In London, Presents New Evidence

Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, Nigeria's Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, Nigeria's Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.

SAN FRANCISCO, December 06, (THEWILL) – Nigeria has filed a fresh lawsuit in a London court seeking to upturn the $9.6billion award made against it in respect of the controversial gas supply contracted purportedly awarded to a shadowy Irish firm, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Limited.

This suit is challenging the process leading to the award of contract and its propriety, which it claimed was fraudulently obtained.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami announced the development in Abuja Friday saying it was based on fresh evidence.

“The Federal Republic of Nigeria today filed a new and substantive challenge in the English court in the ongoing fight against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID.

“The fresh suit is a major step forward in the bid to overturn the injustice of the US$9.6 billion award. The filing challenges both the underlying arbitral award and its enforcement, and lodges a fresh appeal against the subsequent High Court judgment, Malami said in the statement.

“Based on new evidence that has come to light in recent investigations, it is clear that the original contract was a sham commercial deal and designed to fail from the outset.

“The fraud was only recently discovered as a result of President Buhari’s anti-corruption efforts spearheaded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“In the fresh suit, the FG argues that the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement (GSPA) 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.

“The filing is a significant step forward in the Federal Government fight to secure justice for the people of Nigeria.

“The Federal Government has recently expanded its legal team, to include leading London law firm Mishcon de Reya.

“The team is led by Shaistah Akhtar, Partner, and Mark Howard QC of Brick Court Chambers.

“The expansion will enable the FGN to launch in full its investigations and challenges.

“It is important to note that clear and concrete evidence of fraud and corruption were only recently discovered. This followed an increase in the Buhari Government’s well-regarded anti-corruption efforts.

“The new administration’s efforts have brought to light the fraudulent nature of the P&ID contract.

“President Buhari has established several initiatives aimed at tackling corruption. This includes the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption and the Whistle Blowers Policy in 2016, as well as the ‘National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2017-2021’ in 2017.”