Latest statements from the Attorney General of the Federation

March 30, 2020:

“More than 110 days have passed since the Federal Republic of Nigeria filed substantive allegations of fraud against the vulture fund backed P&ID. Despite having many opportunities to do so, P&ID have failed to respond definitively to these allegations. Their silence speaks volumes.

Barring an initial statement insubstantially maintaining that the award is ‘enforceable’, the shell company has yet to provide any formal response to the claim.

It is unsurprising that P&ID’s lawyers have not been able to prove that it legitimately, and lawfully, secured a 20-year contract worth hundreds of millions of Naira. The company has yet to even demonstrate that they had the credentials in the first place to carry out such a complex arrangement, nor provide any evidence of tangible investment or land-holding.

The award in question, which amounts to over eight times Nigeria’s national health budget, could be used for far more important, and genuine, public issues at the current time.

Nigeria simply cannot afford to have our future threatened by a shell company that is not even capable of answering to the concrete evidence of fraud levelled against them.”

January 24, 2020:

“The Federal Republic of Nigeria appeared in the English High Court for a scheduled case management conference (CMC) on January 24, 2020. The CMC was held for the Court to decide procedural issues relating to our application to set aside the arbitral award on the basis that it was procured by fraud and corruption.

A timetable has now been fixed for a hearing to decide if our application can be brought outside the normal time limits.

This is another positive milestone in the Federation’s fight to overturn this award.

Based on new and credible evidence discovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) – referred to in court as “seismic” – it is increasingly clear that this was a highly orchestrated scam, involving a cover-up by ministers at the highest levels of office in the previous administration. These officials, who were entrusted to safeguard the future and assets of Nigeria, knowingly entered into the sham GSPA, and deliberately failed to defend the Federation in the ensuing arbitral proceedings.

It is telling that to date P&ID has said nothing to rebut these allegations of fraud. These issues will now be before the Court to consider in relation to the Federation’s challenge to this award.”

December 6, 2019:

“On6 December 2019, the Federal Republic of Nigeria filed a new and substantive challenge in the English Courts, in our ongoing fight against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID.

This is a major step forward in our bid to overturn the injustice of the US$9.6 billion award.

The challenge argues that the gas supply and processing agreement (GSPA) is based on fraud and that the subsequent arbitral process was riddled with irregularities and deliberately concealed from the rest of the Government.

Based on new evidence that has come to light in recent investigations, it is now clear that the original contract was a sham commercial deal designed to fail from the outset. The Federation has strong reasons to believe that this is a highly orchestrated scam to deliberately strip Nigeria of our assets and our future.

The Federation 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 Government to launch investigations and challenges.”