The government of Nigeria on Friday filed a new and substantive
suit in the English Courts in the ongoing fight against the controversial P&ID contract.
This is contained in a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu,
the Special Assistant Media and Public Relations office of the
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and made
available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday .
According to the statement, the fresh suit is a major step forward in
the bid to overturn the injustice of the US$9.6bn award.
“The filing challenges both the underlying arbitral award and its
enforcement, and lodges a fresh appeal against the subsequent High
Court judgment,” the statement said.
“Based on new evidence that has come to light in recent
investigations, it is clear that the original contract was a sham
commercial deal and designed to fail from the outset. The fraud was
only recently discovered as a result of President Buhari’s
anti-corruption efforts spearheaded by the Economic and Financial
The statement added that the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement
(GSPA) was procured on the basis of fraud and corruption, while the
subsequent arbitral process was riddled with irregularities and
deliberately concealed from the rest of the Government.
The filing is a significant step forward in the federal government
fight to secure justice for the people of Nigeria.
The federal government 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 FGN to launch in full its investigations
and challenges,” the statement added.
It is important to note that clear and concrete evidence of fraud and
corruption were only recently discovered. This followed an increase in the Buhari Government’s well-regarded anti-corruption efforts. The new administration’s efforts have brought to light the fraudulent nature of the P&ID contract.
President Buhari has established several initiatives aimed at tackling
corruption. This includes the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption and the Whistle Blowers Policy in 2016, as well as the ‘National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2017-2021″ in 2017.