- Fine to be paid within 21 days to cover legal costs Nigeria incurred as part of successful application for extension of time to challenge arbitration award, procedural hearing
Alex Enumah in Abuja
Nigeria on Thursday recorded another landmark victory in its bid to set aside a whopping $9.6 billion judgment debt, following an order by a London Court directing Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) to make an interim payment of more than £1.5 million within 21 days to cover legal costs Nigeria incurred in getting the court to allow the nation file court processes outside the time provided by the law.
Last week, the court granted Nigeria’s application seeking permission to challenge the $9.6 billion arbitration award obtained by P&ID, well outside the normal time limits.
However, proceedings on Thursday went the way of Nigeria, as the court which sat to decide procedural and costs issues relating to Nigeria’s applications ruled in her favour.
“Cranston J ordered P&ID to make an interim payment of more than £1.5 million within 21 days to cover legal costs the 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”, Dr Umar Gwandu, Spokesperson to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said in a statement.
He added that a case management conference to determine the full trial window was scheduled to take place after November 2020.
“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 FRN’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 statement read in part.
It noted that the federal government remains firmly committed to overturning the injustice of the $10 billion award, and will not rest until justice is secured for the people of Nigeria, no matter how long it takes.
The statement added that investigations into the GSPA are ongoing, and that more truth will be revealed over the coming months.