A British High Court hearing the case between Nigeria and P&ID has ordered the company to make an interim payment of more than £1.5 million within 21 days to cover legal costs the Federal Republic of Nigeria (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. The court order came on Thursday September 10, 2020.
The hearing of the matter followed the major victory secured by the Federal Republic of Nigeria last Friday, which allowed Nigeria to bring a fraud challenge against a $10 billion arbitration award obtained by vulture-fund-backed P&ID well outside the normal time limits.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria will now proceed to a full fraud trial. The hearing on Thursday by Cranston J 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.
A case management conference to determine the full trial window is scheduled to take place after November 2020. A spokesperson from the Attorney General of the Federation said: “This is another crucial win for Nigeria in our ongoing fight against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID. We are pleased that the English Courts have taken our fraud challenge seriously and awarded us a substantial interim payment in respect of our successful application for an extension of time to challenge the award.
“This is a significant blow for P&ID, who continue to attempt to delay the process. To date, P&ID and its financial backer VR Capital have not produced a single document or credible witness to challenge the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s fraud evidence. Instead, they continue to resort to disseminating misleading claims, while taking every step possible to delay or obstruct our investigations across multiple jurisdictions.
“The Federal Republic of Nigeria remains firmly committed to overturning the injustice of the $10 billion awards and will not rest until we secure justice for the people of Nigeria – no matter how long it takes. Investigations into the GSPA are ongoing, and we are confident that more of the truth will be revealed over the coming months.”