UK court has shielded Nigeria’s assets from criminals, says Presidency
The presidency has hailed the United Kingdom court judgement which granted Nigeria an extension of time and relief from sanctions in the $10 billion arbitration fine in favour of Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID).
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said the judgement gives the country room to “further protect our national assets from criminally-minded organisations and individuals.”
Nigeria is seeking to upturn the $10 billion fine awarded in favour of P&ID over a gas supply and processing agreement.
The company secured the award against Nigeria in 2017 after it claimed that the country breached the terms of the contract reportedly entered in 2010.
But the federal government approached the court to establish that the contract was awarded on illegal terms and that P&ID officials paid bribes to get the contract.
On Thursday, Ross Cranston, a judge of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, granted Nigeria’s appeal for relief from sanctions and extension of time required to pay the fine.
Reacting via a statement, Shehu said the latest judgement proves that the gas deal was an attempt to “cheat” Nigeria of billions of dollars.
He said: “In our view, the judgment is right, just and provides a strong prima facie case that the fraudulent gas deal with P&ID and the subsequent judgment debt of $10 billion against Nigeria was a clear attempt to cheat the country of billions of dollars by a company that had not invested one Naira in our country.
“On the arbitration award, it is a source of huge satisfaction that the UK Court, among others, had ruled that: ‘‘Nigeria has established a strong prima facie case that the Gas Supply and Processing (GSPA) was procured by bribes paid to insiders as part of a larger scheme to defraud Nigeria.
‘‘There is also a strong prima facie case that that (P&ID) main witness in the arbitration, Mr Quinn, gave a perjured evidence to the Tribunal, and that contrary to that evidence, P&ID was not in the position to perform the contract.’’
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