Abubakar-Malami-SAN-at-the-Senate-for-Ministerial-Screening-.-Photo-by-Gbemiga-Olamikan

Nigeria Launches Battle to Quash $9.6b Verdict in UK

A Spirited assault to set aside the $9.6 billion arbitration judgment against Nigeria has been launched by the Federal Government.

A government’s high-powered team is in London ahead of Thursday’s court session in the matter against Process and Industrial Development (P&ID).

Besides, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which secured conviction and forfeiture order against P&ID Nigerian affiliate, has filed charges against two firms linked to P&ID.

The anti-graft agency is also set to put James Nolan, an associate of the owner of P&ID, the late Michael Quinn, on trial.

The three suspects may forfeit all their assets in Nigeria to the Federal Government.

The firms are Goidel Resources Limited and ICIL Limited.

It was also learnt that the Federal Government may seek the extradition of Adam Quinn.

Those on the high-powered delegation has been sent to London are the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN); Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele; Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu; Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu and Minister of Information Lai Mohammed, among others.

Malami on Sunday said the Federal Government had not ruled out the possibility of filing a new case in the UK against P&ID.

He confirmed that a Nigerian delegation had left for London to discuss with the legal team on strategies of dealing with the case.

The minister said: “The Nigerian delegation has left for the United Kingdom to discuss with the legal team on strategies dealing with the recent development regarding the P&ID contract judgment.

”All cards are on table but it all depends on the potency for setting aside the award having regards to the applicable law in the circumstances.

“No possibility is ruled out, including possibility of filling new case and or using existing proceedings to seek relief of setting aside the award (of the contract) cannot be ruled out”.

Some of those on the Federal Government team to London for the legal battle, might present documents and reports; swear to affidavits on the investigations conducted on P&ID and the outcome. They might also serve as witnesses.

It was gathered that the Federal Government delegation will weigh all options, either to build on existing case or file a new case against P&ID.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that, although the charges against the three suspects were filed on Friday, no date has been fixed for hearing.

It was gathered that more Nigerian suspects and companies will face trial in the next few days.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have a long list of suspects linked with the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement (GSPA) between the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and P&ID.

“On Friday, we filed charges against two companies (Goidel and ICIL) and one James Nolan, who was an associate of the owner of P&ID, the late Michael Quinn.

“We are awaiting a date for the hearing of the charges against the two firms and James Nolan. We hope their arraignment will come up any moment from now.

“This is the second time James Nolan will be charged to court in Nigeria. In 2006, Michael Quinn and James Nolan were charged with six others before a Federal High Court on some charges bordering on arms trade challenges and alleged spying for the Russian embassy.

“The charge sheet then indicated that they were contractors to the Federal Ministry of Defence.”

The top source added: “We resorted to this option in order to enable us initiate extradition process for Adam and Cahill because they were vital to P&ID operations in Nigeria.”

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