By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
A British High Court has set a timeline to hear the suit the Federal Government of Nigeria filed to challenge the judgement that directed it to pay $9.6billion to Process and Industrial Developments Limited, P&ID, over a failed gas supply and processing contract.
FG had insisted that the contract was based on an illegal and fraudulent agreement, even as it applied to the English Court to set aside the judgement.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, in a statement his media aide, Dr. Jibrilu Gwandu, made available to newsmen, disclosed that FG, on Friday, appeared before the English High Court for a scheduled case management conference (CMC) on the matter.
According to the statement the CMC was held for the Court to decide procedural issues relating to FG’s application to set aside the arbitral award on the basis that it
was procured by fraud and corruption.
“A timetable has now been fixed for a hearing to decide if our application can be brought outside the normal time limits.
“This is another positive milestone in the Federation’s fight to overturn this award.
“Based on new and credible evidence discovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), it is increasingly clear that P&ID “contract” was a highly orchestrated scam, involving a cover-up by ministers at the highest levels of office in the previous administration.
“These officials, who were entrusted to safeguard the future and assets of Nigeria, knowingly entered into the sham GSPA, and deliberately failed to defend the Federation in the ensuing arbitral proceedings.
“It is telling that to date P&ID has said nothing to rebut these allegations of fraud.
“These issues will now be before the Court to consider in relation to the Federation’s challenge to this award.
“P&ID has 28 days to respond to the application for the extension of the time to challenge the arbitral award. Thereafter, the Court will set a date for hearing of the application”, the statement added.