Following from its major victory on Friday in the case against P&ID allowing it to bring a fraud challenge against a $10 billion arbitration award obtained by the British firm, the Nigerian government said it will now proceed to a full fraud trial.
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami who said this on Friday, disclosed that another hearing was held today to decide procedural and costs issues relating to the the country’s applications to challenge the arbitration award, and to determine the short term directions to trial.
“The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) today appeared in the English High Court for a scheduled hearing,” Malami said.
“The hearing followed the major victory secured by FRN last Friday, allowing it to bring a fraud challenge against a $10 billion arbitration award obtained by vulture-fund-backed P&ID well outside the normal time limits. FRN will now proceed to a full fraud trial. The hearing today was held to decide procedural and costs issues relating to the FRN’s applications to challenge the arbitration award, and to determine the short term directions to trial.
“Cranston J ordered P&ID to make an interim payment of more than £1.5 million within 21 days to cover legal costs the FRN incurred as part of their successful application for the extension of time to challenge the arbitration award and procedural hearing earlier in the year.
“A case management conference to determine the full trial window is scheduled to take place after November 2020.
Malami quoted a spokesperson from the Attorney General of the Federation to have said:
“This is another crucial win for Nigeria in our ongoing fight against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID. We are pleased that the English Courts have taken our fraud challenge seriously, and awarded us a substantial interim payment in respect of our successful application for an extension of time to challenge the award.”
According to him, the new development is “a significant blow for P&ID, who continue to attempt to delay the process.
“To date, P&ID and its financial backer VR Capital have not produced a single document or credible witness to challenge the FRN’s fraud evidence. Instead, they continue to resort to disseminating misleading claims, while taking every step possible to delay or obstruct our investigations across multiple jurisdictions.
“The FRN remains firmly committed to overturning the injustice of the $10 billion award, and will not rest until we secure justice for the people of Nigeria – no matter how long it takes. Investigations into the GSPA are ongoing, and we are confident that more of the truth will be revealed over the coming months.”