UK court overturns $11 billion damages bill for collapsed gas deal against Nigeria

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Using a gavel to tell the story, a British court has decided in favor of Nigeria, nullifying a $11 billion damages charge related to the contentious Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) agreement.

According to Reuters, the court accepted Nigeria’s claim that the transaction was for a failed gas processing contract that had been obtained dishonestly through bribery.

A 20-year contract to build and run a gas processing plant in Southern Nigeria was given to P&ID in 2010 so that the nation’s plentiful gas reserves could be utilized.

Following the deal’s collapse, the British Virgin Islands-based business sued Nigeria in a London courtroom in 2017, winning an amount of $6.6 billion for lost revenues.

The news outlet reported that the damages cost had escalated to over $11 billion, nearly one-third of Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves, due to interest.

However, Nigeria’s legal representative maintained that his nation was the victim of “a campaign of bribery and deception” by P&ID, claiming that the business bought contracts from Nigerian authorities through bribes and bought off the nation’s attorneys to obtain sensitive papers for the arbitration.

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The corporation refuted the accusations of bribery and corruption made against them and attributed institutional inefficiency to the country’s arbitration setback and the collapse of the gas agreement.

In the verdict on Monday, Judge Robin Knowles stated, “I have not accepted all of Nigeria’s allegations.” She also stated that the arbitration awards “were obtained by fraud and the way in which they were procured was, contrary to public policy.”

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