FRN v P&ID: Latest update from the London courts

June 23, 2021:

The English High Court has fixed the timetable for the full fraud trial in the ongoing US$10 billion dispute between the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) and BVI-based shell company, Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID).

The fraud trial will take place in January 2023. This is a major step forward in the FRN’s fight for justice.

In September last year the FRN secured an unprecedented legal victory, when the Court ruled that Nigeria had successfully “established a strong prima facie case” of fraud against P&ID and granted the FRN permission to proceed with its challenge out of normal time limits.

It remains the FRN’s case that the gas deal was a highly orchestrated scam designed to defraud the Nigerian people out of a sum that would now pay for the country’s health budget ten times over. 

P&ID’s only remaining asset today appears to be the arbitration award. The ownership of P&ID also remains unclear. 75% is owned by Lismore Capital, an opaque Cayman-based entity that headed by P&ID’s former arbitration lawyer, Mr Seamus Andrew. Owning the company that will benefit from an award while also running the claim is unusual. Mr Andrew recently took early retirement at age 53, from his firm SCA Ontier. He has now set up another firm, Velitor Law.

The remaining 25% of P&ID was initially acquired by the ‘vulture fund’, VR Advisory Limited. It has recently emerged, however, that this stake has been transferred to another opaque entity – Process Holdings Limited – which is a wholly-owned subsidiary within VR Capital’s corporate web. The exact relationship between P&ID and VR Advisory remains unclear.