The Process and Industrial Developments Limited has said the Federal Government’s much-touted allegation of fraud in the Gas Supply Processing Agreement which led to the arbitral award of $9.6bn against the country, was not canvassed when the matter came up before a United Kingdom court on Thursday.
The British court had, in August, delivered a judgment recognising affirming the arbitral award and recognising Nigeria’s liability to pay P&ID the sum of $9.6bn for breach of the controversial GSPA.
Parties to the case returned to the court on Thursday, with Nigeria obtaining the leave of the court to appeal against the judgment and an order of conditional stay of execution of the judgment subject to the Federal Government’s payment of security fund of $200m into the court’s account within 60 days.
Reacting to the Thursday’s proceedings, P&ID in a statement posted on a website dedicated to the firm’s public relations on the controversial judgment, said the Nigerian Government’s fraud allegation about the agreement turned out to be “a mere red herring,” saying no evidence was put forward to back it by Nigeria’s legal team in court.
The statement reads in part, “The Nigerian Government’s recent media exercise to allege fraud against P&ID turned out to be a red herring. Indeed, the Nigerian Government did not present any evidence to support Attorney General Malami’s ‘findings’ from his sham investigation.
“The Nigerian Government knows there was no fraud and the allegations are merely political theater designed to deflect attention from its own shortcomings.”
The Federal High Court in Abuja had, on September 19, 2019, convicted and wounded up P&ID Limited incorporated in British Virgin Island, and the firm’s Nigerian affiliate, P&ID (Nigeria) Limited, for fraud and tax evasion, among other sundry offences.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had consistently said the conviction of the two firms was a judicial proof that the GSPA was fraudulent.
He had said the proof of fraud would be presented before the UK court to boost Nigeria’s chances of having the judgment set aside.