P&ID: UK Court gives FG permission to challenge contract award

The UK Court has delivered a judgment, granting the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) permission to proceed with its challenge to the $10 billion arbitral award made against it about three years ago.

Dr. Umar Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) disclosed this on in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday.

According to the statement, the Court has allowed the FRN to challenge the contract award, well outside the normal time limits, due to the exceptional circumstances where the FRN has uncovered evidence of a massive fraud in procuring the award.

The Court heard evidence from the FRN and the offshore shell company- Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) in relation to the gas supply and processing agreement (GSPA), which the parties entered into 10 years ago and which was never performed.

According to the statement, the Buhari administration, having inherited this dispute from the previous administration, only recently uncovered evidence that the GSPA was a sham commercial deal designed to fail from the start, and that its subsequent arbitral award was based on fraud and corruption.

The FRN relied on a number of ongoing investigations across multiple jurisdictions, including the United States, to build its case.

During the hearing of the matter, new evidence was presented to further support Nigeria’s challenge.

The FRN will now proceed to a full trial of the issues, where the FRN’s substantive application to finally set aside the award will be heard, thereby recording a major success considering the fact that the Federal Government exceptional circumstances application to have its challenge taken well outside the normal time limits is upheld on account of uncovered evidence of massive fraud in procuring the award.

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