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UK court orders P&ID Ltd. to pay Nigeria £20 million as damages

A UK Court has mandated Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Limited to pay Nigeria £20 million as damages and compensation in the next 28 days following Nigeria’s victory in an $11 billion judgment debt which was heard in October.

TheTimes learnt that the award of the £20 million as damages was revealed during a consequential ruling on the matter in London, to determine the next line of action after the October ruling.

It was also gathered from reports that the hearing was also to determine if P&ID would be given permission to appeal the case.

However, the UK Court denied P&ID the permission to take the matter back to arbitration.

According to the Court, the ruling to award £20 million damages to Nigeria was based on P&ID reprehensible conduct in the manner it got the gas processing contract.

It is also worthy to note that Nigeria was seeking at least £20 million back from P&ID to cover its damages and legal fees.

Back story

In 2010, P&ID agreed with Nigeria to build and operate a gas processing facility in Calabar, Cross River State.

However, the deal collapsed with P&ID accusing Nigeria of not fulfilling its end of the bargain.

As a result, the company resorted to legal action against Nigeria for breach of the contract both parties entered towards the building of the gas plant.

In 2017, precisely on January 31, a tribunal issued a ruling requiring Nigeria to compensate P&ID with $6.6 billion in damages, in addition to both pre and post-judgement interest rate of 7 per cent.

Three years after, in September 2020, a judge within the Business and Property Court of England, named Ross Cranston, granted the application Nigeria to pay the damages to P&ID.

However, lawyers representing Nigeria alleged that P&ID secured the contract to build and operate the gas processing plant through bribe. P&ID refuted this accusation, saying they “unfounded allegations and conspiracy theories.”

After three years that the UK Court ordered Nigeria to pay P&ID $6.6 billion, the interest rate raised the amount to $11 billion in 2023.

In a court trial in March, lawyers representing the Nigerian government prayed that the UK Court invalidate the arbitration award against Nigeria on the grounds that the gas processing contract was obtained by fraud.

In October 2023, Nigeria received great relief as the UK court set the country from its entanglement in the $11bn judgment debt previously awarded in favour of P&ID Limited.

Justice Robin Knowles of the Commercial Courts of England and Wales, delivered the judgement in the case between the Federal Government of Nigeria and P&ID, saying:

  • “In the circumstances and the reasons I have sought to describe and explain, Nigeria succeeds on its challenge under section 68.
  • “I have not accepted all of Nigeria’s allegations. But the awards were obtained by fraud and the awards were and the way in which they were procured was contrary to public policy.”

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