OYOGist.com has learned that after Nigeria’s victory in the P&ID case, the Nigerian government has once again scored an important victory in an oil case. In this case, the International Centre for Settlement of United States Investment Disputes ordered Interocean Oil to pay $660,129 to the Nigerian Federal Government.
This amount represents the reimbursement of its share of the arbitration costs incurred in the proceedings.
The tribunal, chaired by William Park, found that Nigeria had not breached any of its contractual agreements with Interocean Development Company and Interocean Oil Exploration Company.
The companies that have Olasupo Shasore (SAN) on their legal team had asked Nigeria, its privileges and relevant instruments to pay over $1.5 billion in aggravated damages.
In its ruling on Tuesday, the court said that Nigeria was not wrong in its obligations to the plaintiffs under Nigerian or international law.
“The court finds no liability on the part of the defendant in connection with the plaintiffs’ loss of control over their Pan Ocean investment,” the judgement in part states.
In response, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, described the ruling as complementary to the successes achieved by Nigeria in international litigation.
Malami said that “the era of collusion to deprive the nation of its resources in order to satisfy ulterior motives of self-interest at the expense of the people” has disappeared.
Meanwhile, Cranston J., judge in a lawsuit against the engineering company P&ID in the British Virgin Islands, ordered in the P&ID case that the company make an interim payment of more than £1.5 million to the Nigerian government.
Following a landmark victory in the High Court of England, the Federal Republic of Nigeria appeared for a scheduled hearing which allowed it to appeal outside the normal time limits for a fraud challenge to a $10 billion arbitration award obtained by P&ID with the support of a vulture fund.
A statement by the Attorney General’s Office states that Nigeria will now proceed to a full-scale fraud trial. The hearing was held to decide on procedural issues and costs related to the RNF’s requests to challenge the award and to determine the short-term direction of the trial.
Acting Judge Cranston J. ordered P&ID to make an interim payment to cover the legal costs incurred by the RNF as part of its successful request for an extension of the deadline to challenge the award and the procedural hearing earlier this year.
A case management conference has been scheduled to define the full procedural window, which will take place after November 2020.
This was said by a spokesman for the Attorney General:
“This is another decisive victory for Nigeria in our ongoing fight against vulture-backed P&ID. We are pleased that the English courts have taken our fraud challenge seriously and granted us a substantial interim payment in relation to our request for an extension of the appeal of the arbitral award.
This is a significant blow to P&ID, which continues to try to delay the process.
“To date, P&ID and its financial sponsor VR Capital have not provided a single credible document or testimony to challenge the RNF’s evidence of fraud. Instead, they continue to resort to the dissemination of misleading allegations while taking all possible measures to delay or hinder our investigations in several jurisdictions.
“The RN remains determined to end the injustice of the $10 billion grant and will not rest until we have achieved justice for the Nigerian people, however long it takes. The GSPA investigation is ongoing and we are confident that more of the truth will come to light in the coming months.