A court in the United Kingdom on Thursday ordered the British Virgin Islands firm, Process and Industrial Development (P$ID) to pay £1.5m to Nigeria within 21 days.
The Special Adviser on Media to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr. Umar Gwandu, who disclosed this in a statement, said the court ordered P&ID to pay the money to Nigeria to cover the legal costs incurred by the Federal Government during its successful bid to secure the court’s permission for an extension of time to challenge the $9.6 arbitral award against the country.
A British Commercial Court last week gave Nigeria the go-ahead to appeal the award of $9.6billion to P&ID.
The court said in its ruling that Nigeria had established a strong prima facie case that the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement (GSPA) signed in 2010 between the Federal Government and the firm was procured by bribes paid to insiders as part of a larger scheme to defraud the country.
The statement read: “The Federal Republic of Nigeria today (Thursday) appeared in the English High Court for a scheduled hearing.
“The hearing followed the major victory secured by Federal Republic of Nigeria last Friday (September 4), allowing it to bring a fraud challenge against a $10bnn arbitration award obtained by vulture-fund-backed P&ID well outside the normal time limits.
“FRN will now proceed to a full fraud trial. The hearing today was held to decide procedural and costs issues relating to the FRN’s applications to challenge the arbitration award, and to determine the short term directions to trial.
“Cranston J ordered P&ID to make an interim payment of more than £1.5 million within 21 days to cover legal costs the FRN incurred as part of their successful application for the extension of time to challenge the arbitration award and procedural hearing earlier in the year.
“A case management conference to determine the full trial window is scheduled to take place after November 2020.”
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