In yet another win for Nigeria, a court in the United Kingdom has ordered Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Limited to pay Nigeria £20 million in damages and compensation following its victory in a $11 billion judgment debt heard in October 2023.
The court ordered that the money be given to Nigeria within the next 28 days.
This new ruling follows Nigeria’s historic victory in October 2023, which saw the court quash the fraudulent $11 billion arbitration award in favour of P&ID.
The award of £20 million in damages was revealed during a subsequent ruling on the subject in London to determine what happened after the October ruling.
“Nigeria sought at least £20 million back from P&ID to cover its damages and legal fees. Essentially, what P&ID lawyers were trying to do was limit the amount it would pay to Nigeria as damages, and they fought hard to see if it would be in naira. But the court ruled that they must pay £20 million to Nigeria, which must come in 28 days. Then came the request for appeal. Their request for an appeal on the currency at which they were going to pay Nigeria was also denied. So, in 28 days, P&ID must pay Nigeria at least 20 million pounds,” Arise News Channel reported on Saturday.
BRANDPOWER reports that the hearing was also held to determine whether P&ID would be granted permission to appeal the decision, however, the court denied P&ID’s request to remand the case to arbitration.
It contended that the company’s conduct during the process was heinous, thus the judgment.
Nigeria had sued P&ID for at least £20 million in damages and legal fees but obtained significant relief in October when the UK court released it from entanglement in the $11 billion judgment debt previously issued in favour of P&ID Limited.
In the lawsuit between the Federal Government of Nigeria and P&ID, Justice Robin Knowles of the Commercial Courts of England and Wales affirmed Nigeria’s claim that the gas processing contract was obtained by fraud.
In the judgment delivered after five years of legal battle, Judge Knowles said: “In the circumstances and the reasons I have sought to describe and explain, Nigeria succeeds on its challenge under section 68. I have not accepted all of Nigeria’s allegations. But the awards were obtained by fraud and the way they were procured was contrary to public policy.”
The judge found that P&ID had paid bribes to Nigerian officials involved in the drafting of the gas supply and processing agreement (GSPA) in 2010.
However, Knowles said he still had to choose from three options after making his determination: (a) to remit the award to the tribunal, in whole or in part, for reconsideration, (b) to set the award aside in whole or in part, or (c) to declare the award to be of no effect, in whole or in part. Nigeria had argued that the award should be set aside, invoking the common law principle that “fraud unravels all”.
BRANDPOWER recalls that P&ID was contracted by Nigeria in 2010 to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State, in the country’s south but the deal fell through because the Nigerian government did not keep its half of the bargain.