By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Federal Government has secured a landmark victory in its pursuit to overturn a 10 billion dollar judgment awarded against it in a case against Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID).
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said the court has granted Nigeria’s application for an extension of time and relief from sanctions due to the exceptional circumstances where the government has uncovered evidence of massive fraud in procuring the award.
Malami said the Court heard evidence from the government and the offshore shell company P&ID in relation to the gas supply and processing agreement (GSPA).
This agreement was entered into by the parties 10 years ago and which was never performed.
He said the Buhari-led administration, having inherited the dispute from the previous administration, only recently uncovered evidence that the GSPA was a sham commercial deal.
This was designed to fail from the start, and that its subsequent arbitral award was based on fraud and corruption.
He said the government relied on a number of ongoing investigations across multiple jurisdictions, including the U.., to build its case.
He said that the government would proceed to a full trial of the issues, where government’s substantive application to finally set aside the award would be
He added that the government of Nigeria was pleased with the outcome from the
High Court hearing.
“This is a major victory in our ongoing fight against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID, to overturn the injustice of the multi-billion dollar arbitral award.
“In light of the new and substantive evidence presented regarding P&ID’s fraudulent and corrupt activities, the Court has granted our application for an extension of time to hear our challenge out of normal time limits.
The Federal Government will now proceed to a full hearing of our fraud
challenge in the coming months,” he said.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has obtained a prepayment funding of about $1billion to support the upstream operations of its subsidiary, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
A statement from the state oil corporation on Thursday night said the crude oil prepayment has enabled NNPC to pay NPDC’s Tax obligations to the Federal Government of Nigeria, of circa US$700million with the balance utilised to fund NPDC’s capital and operating expenditures.