November 12, 2020:
“The priority of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) is to uncover this massive fraud and to bring the perpetrators to justice, whilst protecting the wealth of the Nigerian people.
The FRN has always been, and will continue to be, open and transparent with the Courts in doing so, as it pursues its investigations and challenges in Nigeria, the US and the UK.
The discovery process in the US to date has uncovered strong evidence of bribes and corruption against P&ID. The FRN would not have reasonably been able to uncover this evidence without the assistance of the US Courts. The evidence uncovered in the US clearly supports our criminal investigations in Nigeria.
Given the nature of the evidence which came to light, the FRN could not in good conscience have withheld this evidence from the English Court.
This evidence has accordingly led to an unprecedented judgment in the English High Court by Sir Ross Cranston, which held that a strong prima facie case of fraud against P&ID has been established and granted the FRN an extraordinary extension of time to challenge arbitration awards.
It also makes even more abundantly clear why the US$10 billion arbitral award against Nigeria is grossly unjust, and must be overturned.
P&ID – a shell company owned by the vulture fund VR Capital, and by an opaque Cayman Islands-based entity called Lismore Capital – has yet to provide a single plausible explanation to contradict the overwhelming evidence of fraud and corruption against it.
It is telling that P&ID, VR Capital, and Lismore Capital have continuously sought to obstruct Nigeria’s ongoing investigations and subpoenas in the US. Their litigation tactics are not only prolonging the discovery process and resulting in unnecessary time and costs, they are also manifestly inconsistent with P&ID’s position that it has nothing to hide.
The US courts denied P&ID’s prior attempt to limit FRN’s use of lawfully obtained evidence of P&ID’s bribery payments. In his judgment, Sir Ross Cranston cited P&ID’s obstructive behaviour in support of his finding of a strong prima facie case of fraud against P&ID. FRN has been candid with the US courts as to the purpose of requested discovery, and there is no merit to P&ID’s accusation that FRN has misled the courts. Under established US legal precedent, FRN is permitted to use evidence uncovered as part of FRN’s ongoing criminal investigations in related proceedings concerning P&ID’s continued attempts to enforce a fraudulently obtained award.
The FRN will not simply watch as the wealth of the Nigerian people is aggressively pursued by Western actors looking to exploit Africa’s vulnerabilities. We will not stand by idly as P&ID seeks to exploit Court systems around the world to launder their fraudulent scheme. It is our duty to act and to follow the evidence.
The weight of evidence is on Nigeria’s side. The FRN remains firmly committed to overturning the injustice of the $10 billion award and will not rest until we secure justice for the people of Nigeria – no matter how long it takes.”