$9.6bn judgment: UK court resumes FG suit against verdict July 13

A London Commercial Court is set to resume hearing in respect of the $9.6bn arbitration award delivered against the Federal Government in 2017.

A spokesperson for the Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), the beneficiary of the award, said in an e-mail sent to TheCitizen on Monday that the court would resume hearing in the case on July 13 and 14.

According to P&ID, “the purpose of the UK hearing” scheduled to resume on July 13, “is to determine whether Nigeria can challenge the arbitration award made more than five years ago by an independent tribunal”.

Although, the London court had on September 26, 2019, granted a conditional stay of execution and leave to Nigeria to appeal against the enforcement of the $9.6bn award, the British Virgin Island firm said on Monday that the Federal Government failed to file the appeal within the 28 days period allowed for such filing.

It stated that the Federal Government instead of filing the appeal “is now essentially asking the English Commercial Court to reset the clock”.

It said the July 13 and 14 hearing would therefore not have “significant implications” for the Nigeria’s case.

The $9.6bn award was first issued against Nigeria and in favour of P&ID  in a January 31, 2017 ruling of a London arbitration tribunal, which held the Federal Government liable for the breach of a 20-year gas supply agreement signed in 2010  between P&ID and Nigeria, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The Federal Government subsequently instituted a series of legal actions at the London court to have the judgment overturned.

This led to the September 26, 2019 ruling granting leave for the court to appeal and a conditional stay of the enforcement of the award.

Meanwhile, the office of the AGF, in a statement, has confirmed that “Nigeria is set to appear in the English High Court for a scheduled threshold issues hearing on 13 and 14 July 2020.

This is the next legal step in our ongoing legal battle against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID.

Based on evidence uncovered from ongoing investigations, it is now clear the GSPA and subsequent arbitral award  were both procured on the basis of fraud and corruption.”

The statement added that “the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) is committed to overturning the injustice of this award – no matter how long it takes. We will pursue all available legal avenues in our fight to secure justice for the people of Nigeria.”

 

 

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