P&ID has said that Friday’s ruling by the English Commercial court setting timelines for hearing in a long drawn legal battle against Nigeria was in its favour.
The Nigerian Government had also on Friday made the same claim in a statement by the country’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
But in a statement sent to The Eagle Online on Saturday, P&ID said: “This decision is another victory in favour of P&ID as it continues efforts to compel the Nigerian Government to comply with its legal obligations to pay damages to P&ID – as has already been ordered by the English Court.
“The ruling means that Nigeria must now justify its multi-year delay in challenging the Award at a special hearing to take place before this summer, failing which it will be barred from raising its allegations of fraud before the English Court.
“Nigeria’s defeat in court comes after the English Court of Appeal on Monday rejected Nigeria’s attempts to delay its appeal by including claims of fraud. The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Flaux stated that Nigeria’s application was ‘misconceived’.
“P&ID urges the Buhari Administration to abandon its ill-fated attempts to avoid its legal responsibilities through the sham EFCC investigation targeting innocents – a campaign which Nigeria only launched in reaction to its previous defeats before the Tribunal and the English Court – and instead, accept the reality of the Arbitration Tribunal Award in favour of P&ID, and the decisions of the English Court.”
In July 2015, an expert Tribunal in London, led by Lord Hoffmann, unanimously concluded that the Nigerian Government was liable for the government having repudiated the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement agreement with P&ID.
In January 2017, the Tribunal ordered the Nigerian Government to pay P&ID $6.6 billion in damages, plus interest that is accruing daily at a rate of over $1.2 million.
On August 16, 2019, the English Commercial Court granted permission for the enforcement of P&ID’s arbitration award against Nigerian assets in the UK.
On November 25, 2019, the English Court of Appeal comprehensively rejected Nigeria’s application for permission to appeal part of the enforcement decision of Mr. Justice Butcher, with the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Flaux describing the main plank of Nigeria’s application as “totally without merit” and “hopeless”.
On January 20, 2020, the English Court of Appeal rejected Nigeria’s attempts to delay its appeal of the August 16, 2019 ruling.
The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Flaux stated that Nigeria’s application was “misconceived”.