Nigeria has levelled fresh claims of fraud against a little-known offshore firm, Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID), which earlier won an $11 billion arbitration award against the country, ramping up the pressure ahead of one of the biggest London trials to take place next year.
The federal government would seek to prove to the court that P&ID did not make full disclosure to the court in the first place in the course of the case.
As it attempts to show the court that the contract was corruptly procured, it would also urge the firm in the eye of the storm to answer the following questions:
“Did P&ID, or any individual or company associated with P&ID, make, procure to be made by any other person, or promise to make payments” to or on behalf of various Nigerian officials, including one Ms Taiga, Mr. Tijani, Mr Dikko, Mr. Rilwanu Lukman or Mr Ibrahim?
“Did P&ID collude with and/or communicate with and/or enter into a corrupt agreement with and/or make payments to Mr Shasore and/or any other person directly or indirectly involved in the FRN’s defence (including Ms Adelore and Mr Oguine), before, during or after the arbitration, with a view to influencing the conduct of the FRN’s defence in the arbitration?
“In what circumstances did the FRN engage Mr Shasore (and/or his firm) in respect of the arbitration? Did Mr Shasore conduct the arbitration in a manner contrary to Nigeria’s interests and/or instructions, and if so, why?”
“Did P&ID induce Ms Taiga or any other Nigerian official to depart from the terms of the FRN’s model arbitration clause in the Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA)?” according to court filing.
An update on the legal tussle also showed that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FRN) has been successful in its bid at the London High Court to obtain further documentation in support of its efforts to set aside the $11 billion arbitration award.
In the recent hearing, Mr. Justice Jacobs judged that the approach taken by P&ID to providing disclosure of WhatsApp/SMS messages had not been entirely satisfactory to date and as such it would be reasonable and proportionate for P&ID to disclose further information related to private WhatsApp/SMS messages sent between key figures associated with the company over a period of several years. Nigeria’s government hoped that disclosure of the messages would further reveal the questionable activities of the company ahead of the High Court trial due to begin in January 2023.