UK court grants Nigeria permission to challenge $9.6bn fine

Labourer docked

The English Court on Friday granted permission to Nigeria to argue the $9.6 billion arbitral award made against the federal government.

Umar Gwandu, spokesman to the attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made this known in a statement.

The court allowed Nigeria to bring the challenge outside the normal time limits, due to the evidence presented on fraud, Gwandu said.

The government is seeking to upturn the judgment in favour of Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) over a gas supply and processing agreement (GSPA).

The statement said the Buhari administration, having inherited the dispute from the previous administration, “uncovered evidence that the GSPA was a sham commercial deal designed to fail from the start.”

Gwandu noted that Nigeria will now proceed to a full trial of the issues, where a substantive application to finally set aside the award will be heard.

He said the federal government is pleased with the court’s decision.

He called it a major victory in the ongoing fight “against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID.”

“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.

“Investigations into the GSPA are ongoing, and we are firmly committed too overturning the award to ensure that this money goes towards Nigeria’s future, not into the pockets of millionaires trying to exploit our country”, it read.

On Thursday, Malami said Nigeria has learnt lessons from the saga.

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