Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Nigeria made a major breakthrough today in her quest to upturn the $9bn judgment debt procured against her by Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) as a London court, in the United Kingdom has granted her request to appeal against it.
The court had after taken evidence from Nigeria and other parties to the litigation, granted her request to challenge the judgment outside the time limit, given the exceptional circumstances. The decision of the court was predicated on the evidence put across by the Nigerian government showing that the said contract was fraudulently procured by the P&ID in the first place.
This was contained in a statement yesterday by the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr. Umar Gwandu. According to the statement, the court has allowed the FRN to bring this challenge well outside the normal time limits, due to the exceptional circumstances where the FRN has uncovered evidence of a massive fraud in procuring the award.
The court heard evidence from the FRN and the offshore Shell Company. P&ID in relation to the gas supply and processing agreement (GSPA), which the parties entered into 10 years ago and which was never performed.
According to the statement, the Buhari Administration, having inherited this dispute from the previous administration, only recently uncovered evidence that the GSPA was a sham commercial deal designed to fail from the start, and that its subsequent arbitrary award was based on fraud and corruption.