The Business Courts of England and Wales have granted Nigeria an extension of time and relief from sanctions including the $10 billion fine in a case against Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID).
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Ross Cranston, delivered the judgment on Thursday.
“It is not my function at this preliminary stage to decide whether a fraud took place,” Cranston was quoted to have said.
“However, it has been necessary to consider a considerable amount of the material to decide firstly, whether, as Nigeria contended, there is a prima facie case of fraud and how strong that case is, and secondly, the steps Nigeria took to investigate the alleged fraud from late 2015.
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“Both matters are relevant to the issues of whether Nigeria’s claim is barred altogether and whether time should be extended in its favour and relief from sanctions granted.”
On January 31, 2017, a tribunal had ruled that Nigeria should pay P&ID $6.6 billion as damages, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest at 7 per cent.
The Federal Government had approached the court to establish that the contract was awarded on illegal terms.
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Nigeria has been making moves to overturn the judgement and has gotten court clearance to request documents from a P&ID stakeholder and review bank statements of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, as well as that of former petroleum ministers, Diezani Alison-Madueke and Rilwanu Lukman.
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had on August 18, arraigned James Nolan, a Briton, and six companies over their alleged involvement in the contract.