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UK court’s ruling will deter greedy investors looking to prey on Nigeria –Fagbemi



The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, said the British court’s ruling which nullified the arbitration award to the Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Limited would deter other greedy investors from preying on Nigeria.

Justice Robin St John Knowles of the United Kingdom Commercial Court had earlier on Monday stopped the enforcement of the $11 billion arbitration award in favour of P&ID against Nigeria.

In his ruling in the case marked CL-2019-000752 filed by the Federal Government, the judge upheld Nigeria’s argument that the ill-fated gas processing contract was obtained by fraudulent means by the company.

Fagbemi, who reacted to the ruling in a statement, said the verdict was not just a victory for Nigerians, but any similar target of corruption and fraud.

He said further hearings would take place in the UK court to determine costs payable by P&ID and other matters.

The minister said: “The judgment handed down today, found that the award had been obtained by fraud and in a way which was contrary to public policy. In particular, the Judge concluded that P&ID obtained the award only by ‘practising’ the most severe abuses of the arbitral process”.

“He further noted ‘That this case has also, sadly, brought together a combination of examples of what some individuals would do for money. Driven by greed and prepared to use corruption; giving no thought to what their enrichment would mean in terms of harm to others.

READ ALSO: Nigeria wins P&ID case, as London court dismisses $11bn award (See 140-page judgment)

“For us in this administration, it has been a night of long knives! This success marks the culmination of over a decade of legal action and is not just a victory for the people of Nigeria, but any similar target of corruption and fraud.

“In the words of Mark Howard KC, lead counsel for the FRN which the court endorsed, ‘P&ID was exactly the type of entity that was prepared to engage in bribery’, to achieve its aims – to undermine the administration of justice in Nigeria in the pursuit of, ‘riches beyond the dreams of avarice’.

“This successful result is a decisive victory for the people of Nigeria who stood to lose over US$11 billion, and for the Nigerian administration which has now reached a milestone in its mission to challenge the scourge of corruption.

“The judgment also serves as a damning indictment of predatory international investors, who should now rightfully be deterred from preying upon Nigeria and other developing nations to satisfy their greed.

“P&ID and its associates both Nigerians and foreigners alike shamelessly attempted to defraud the country and enrich themselves through sharing the FRN’s privileged documents, fraud, bribery, and corruption on an industrial scale. Those efforts, which took place over many years, have finally been uncovered for all to see.”

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