Saturday, 07 December 2019 05:24

$9.6bn judgment: FG uncovers new fraud evidence, files fresh suit

 
 

The Federal Government on Friday filed a fresh appeal in the English court against the award of $9.6billion to Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) by a United Kingdom court.

The government said the new application was based on new evidence that has come to light in recent investigations

A statement by the Special Assistant Media and Public Relations Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, said the new action was part of the steps to upturn the $9.6bilion judgment against the Federal Government.

 

The statement said:  “The filing challenges both the underlying arbitral award and its enforcement, and lodges a fresh appeal against the subsequent High Court judgment.

“Based on new evidence that has come to light in recent investigations, it is clear that the original contract was a sham commercial deal and designed to fail from the outset.

“The fraud was only recently discovered as a result of President Buhari’s anti-corruption efforts spearheaded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“The challenge argues that the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement (GSPA) was procured on the basis of fraud and corruption, while the subsequent arbitral process was riddled with irregularities and deliberately concealed from the rest of the government.

“The filing is a significant step forward in the Federal Government fight to secure justice for the people of Nigeria.

 

“The Federal Government recently expanded its legal team to include a leading London law firm, Mishcon de Reya. The team is led by Shaistah Akhtar, Partner, and Mark Howard QC of Brick Court Chambers. The expansion will enable the FGN to launch in full its investigations and challenges.

“It is important to note that clear and concrete evidence of fraud and corruption were only recently discovered. This followed an increase in the Buhari government’s well-regarded anti-corruption efforts. The new administration’s efforts have brought to light the fraudulent nature of the P&ID contract.

”President Buhari has established several initiatives aimed at tackling corruption. These include the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption and the Whistle Blowers Policy in 2016, as well as the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2017-2021″ in 2017.

The English Commercial Court had granted Nigeria’s application for leave to file an appeal against P&ID.

Another application for a stay of execution of the award was also upheld.

P&ID secured the damages against Nigeria following a failed Gas Supply Project Agreement (GSPA) contract between it and the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Federal Government team had raised 13 grounds on why the London court should reverse the $9.6billion judgment.

The government has uncovered that the Memorandum of Understanding on the gas contract was signed in 2009 by P&ID Nigeria Limited with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

But a trick clause was inserted in the MoU which allowed the British Virgin Island (BVI) registered P&ID to replace the original contractual party, P&ID Nigeria Limited, to sign the contract in January 11, 2010.

The Federal Government said the P&ID case cannot stand because the contract was fraudulent.

 

Punch

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