UPDATE: The Federal Republic of Nigeria on Friday filed a new and substantive challenge in the English Courts in the ongoing fight against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID.
This disclosed in in a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant Media and Public Relations office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday 6th December, 2019.
According to the statement, the fresh suit is a major step forward in their bid to overturn the injustice of the US$9.6 billion award.
“The filing challenges both the underlying arbitral award and its enforcement, and lodges a fresh appeal against the subsequent High Court judgment,” the statement said.
“Based on new evidence that has come to light in recent investigations, it is clear that the original contract was a sham commercial deal and designed to fail from the outset. The fraud was
only recently discovered as a result of President Buhari’s anti-corruption efforts spearheaded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission”.
The challenge argues that the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement (GSPA) was procured on the basis of fraud and corruption, while the subsequent arbitral process was riddled with irregularities and deliberately concealed from the rest of the Government.
The filing is a significant step forward in the Federal Government fight to secure justice for the people of Nigeria.
The Federal Government has recently expanded its legal team, to include leading London law firm Mishcon de Reya. The team is led by Shaistah Akhtar, Partner, and Mark Howard QC of Brick Court Chambers.
The expansion will enable the FGN to launch in full its investigations and challenges,” the statement added.
It is important to note that clear and concrete evidence of fraud and corruption were only recently discovered. This followed an increase in the Buhari Government’s well-regarded anti-corruption efforts. The new administration’s efforts have brought to light the fraudulent nature
of the P&ID contract.
President Buhari has established several initiatives aimed at tackling corruption. This includes the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption and the Whistle Blowers Policy in 2016, as well as the “National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2017-2021” in 2017.