The Nigerian government has successfully won a case in a UK court, resulting in the overturning of a $11 billion (8,9 trillion Naira) arbitration award that was previously granted to a firm. This award was initially given to the firm due to a dispute over a failed gas deal.
In 2017, the award was initially established, and it was later expanded in 2019 to incorporate interest. This award constituted a significant portion of Nigeria’s foreign reserves.
The ruling on Monday is a result of a long-standing legal dispute between Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID), a company based in the British Virgin Islands, and the Nigerian government.
The lawyers representing Nigeria put forth the argument that P&ID had engaged in bribery to secure the contract and had also influenced lawyers to gain access to confidential documents. P&ID refuted Nigeria’s allegations and attributed the failure of the gas deal to institutional incompetence.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president of Nigeria, applauded the London Business and Property Court’s decision.
He described it as a victory for Africa and the developing world in a statement, highlighting their long-standing experience of “overt exploitation”.
According to the campaign group Spotlight on Corruption, Nigeria’s economic prospects have been severely impacted by an arbitration award that they claim was obtained through bribery and deceit.
The judge’s ruling, which was made public on Monday, concluded that P&ID had engaged in bribery with a Nigerian oil ministry official in relation to a gas contract from 2010. Additionally, the company had neglected to reveal this information when it pursued legal action against Nigeria following the termination of the agreement.