The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) appeared before the High Court of England on Thursday for a scheduled hearing.
The hearing followed the huge victory secured by FRN last Friday, allowing it to file a fraud challenge against a $ 10 billion arbitration award obtained by P&ID backed by vulture funds far beyond normal time limits.
In a statement Thursday from the Federation Attorney General’s office, Nigeria will now proceed to a full fraud trial. Thursday’s hearing was held to decide procedural and cost issues related to FRN’s requests to contest the arbitration award and to determine short-term directions for the trial.
Acting Superior Court Judge Cranston J ordered P&ID to make an interim payment of more than £ 1.5 million within 21 days to cover legal costs incurred by FRN as part of its request for an extension to challenge the arbitration award and procedural hearing at the beginning of the year.
A case management conference is scheduled to determine the full trial window after November 2020.
A spokesman for the Federal Attorney General’s Office said:
“This is another crucial victory for Nigeria in our ongoing fight against the vulture-backed P&ID. We are pleased that the English courts have taken our fraud challenge seriously and awarded us a substantial interim payment with respect to our successful request for an extension of time to contest the award.
This is a major blow to P&ID, which continues to try to delay the process.
“To date, P&ID and its financial sponsor VR Capital have not produced a single credible document or witness to challenge FRN’s evidence of fraud. Instead, they continue to resort to the dissemination of misleading claims, while taking all possible steps to delay or obstruct our investigations in multiple jurisdictions.
“The FRN remains firmly committed to reversing the injustice of the $ 10 billion award and will not rest until we guarantee justice for the people of Nigeria, no matter how long it takes. Investigations into the GSPA are ongoing and we are confident that more truth will be revealed in the coming months. “
The spokesperson also noted that “the Honorable Attorney General would like to clarify his statements made on Arise TV, as reported yesterday in an online medium [Not ].
“There will be no negotiation or discussion of an agreement with P&ID or any party by or on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria. The recent ruling by the English Commercial Court confirmed our view that P&ID and its cohorts are scammers who have exploited our country. They will not benefit from your corrupt behavior.
“This is a classic case with overwhelming fraudulent and corrupt undertones. The Federal Government of Nigeria is not considering any possibility of negotiations with P&ID. Not only has it fallen within the high-order exception referred to by the Honorable Attorney General in his interview with Arise TV yesterday, but it lacks any legitimate foundation. We will not and cannot negotiate arbitration awards in which the basis and foundation are based on fraud, corruption, failure to comply with processes and procedures. “