P&ID Arbitration

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On 6 December 2019, the Federal Republic of Nigeria filed a new and substantive challenge in the English Courts, in our ongoing fight against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID.1

This is a major step forward in our bid to overturn the injustice of the US$9.6 billion award.

The challenge argues that the gas supply and processing agreement (GSPA) is based on fraud and corruption and that the subsequent arbitral process was riddled with irregularities and deliberately concealed from the rest of the Government.2

Based on new evidence that has come to light in recent investigations, it is now clear that the original contract was a sham commercial deal designed to fail from the outset.3 The Federation has strong reasons to believe that this is a highly orchestrated scam to deliberately strip Nigeria of our assets and our future.4

The Federation has recently expanded its legal team, to include leading London law firm Mishcon de Reya. The team is led by Shaistah Akhtar, Partner, and Mark Howard QC of Brick Court Chambers. The expansion will enable the Government to launch in full our investigations and challenges.

What happened?

The Federal Republic of Nigeria and P&ID entered into a 20-year GSPA in early 2010, whereby the Government agreed that it would supply natural gas (wet gas) to P&ID. In turn, P&ID agreed to process and return eighty-five per cent of the wet gas in the form of lean gas, which could be used for energy generation.5

For the purpose of enabling the wet gas to be processed, P&ID agreed to construct two or more process streams with ancillary facilities – however the construction was never carried out.6

In 2012, P&ID alleged that the Federation had not fulfilled its obligations in regard to the GPSA, and claimed damages for lost profits - in the region of US$6 billion.7

However, P&ID spent little to no money in preparing to fulfil its obligations. The vulture-fund-backed P&ID is not a genuine commercial entity, and would never have been able to carry out its part of the agreement.8

The GSPA is yet another example of officials using sham commercial deals to fraudulently divert much-needed assets from the Nigerian people.

Why wasn’t the fraud uncovered earlier?

Clear and concrete evidence of fraud was only recently discovered as a result of the Buhari Government’s anti-corruption efforts, spearheaded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Unlike the previous administration, President Buhari has taken a firm stance against corruption.9

Since he was elected, President Buhari has established several initiatives aimed at tackling fraud. This includes the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption and the Whistle Blowers Policy in 2016, as well as the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2017-2021 in 2017, and Executive Order No.6 of 2018 on the preservation of suspicious assets connected with corruption and restriction of movement of persons standing trials for high profile corruption cases.


[1] Financial Times (2019): ‘Nigeria granted stay of execution in $9.6bn court battle’. [Accessed: 6th January 2020]

[2] Bloomberg (2019):Nigeria’s Battle Over $9 Billion Lawsuit Spreads to Ireland’. [Accessed: 6th January 2020]

[3] Ibid.

[4] Financial Times (2019): ‘Nigeria’s government in UK court to overturn $9.6bn fine’. [Accessed: 6th January 2020]

[5] The Times (2019): ‘Pay the piper: will an Irish energy firm’s arbitration award bankrupt Nigeria?’. [Accessed: 6th January 2020]

[6]  BBC News (2019):Nigerian government ordered to pay $9bn to private gas firm’. [Accessed: 6th January 2020]

[7]  Bloomberg (2019):‘Is One of the World’s Biggest Lawsuits Built on a Sham?’. [Accessed: 6th January 2020]

[8] Financial Times (2019):‘Nigeria granted stay of execution in $9.6bn court battle’. [Accessed: 6th January 2020]

[9]  BBC News (2015): ‘Nigeria president appoints anti-corruption advisers’, [Accessed: 6th January 2020] 

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