The Nigerian government has arraigned a British national, Mr James Nolan, at an Abuja Federal High Court over alleged complicity in the failed Gas deal between Nigeria and an Irish firm, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID).
The 2010 deal is threatening the seizure of Nigeria’s assets abroad to the tune of over $9 billion.
A tribunal made up of Lord Hoffman (the presiding arbitrator), former attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN) (Nigeria’s arbitrator) and Sir Anthony Evans (P&ID’s), was organised in London under the rules of the Nigerian Arbitration and Conciliation Act as part of the original contractual agreement between the parties.
The tribunal in 2017 ordered Nigeria to pay P&ID $6.6bn. With interest, the sum now tops $9bn, an amount said to be about 20 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign reserves.
The tribunal by a majority of 2 to 1 judgment in 2017 awarded the sum of $6.597 billion together with interest at the rate of 7% starting from 20 March 2013 until payment is made., Another British judge in 2019 upheld the arbitration awarded P&ID.
Nigeria’s appeal is currently being heard by a London court, where Nigeria is claiming that the deal was fraudulently entered into.
Now Nigeria, according to reports in Leadership newspapers has commenced the prosecution of those suspected to have played key roles in the alleged scam. They include Mr Nolan, two directors of P&ID and a former director in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in different suits.
Nolan, since his arraignment last year has been in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Services due to his inability to perfect his bail. However, the Nigerian government arraigned him, two others said to be at large (Adams Quinn and Niel Murray) alongside six other firms.
The six firms are; Ecophoenix Nigeria Limited, Babcock Electrical Projects Limited, Marshpearl Nigeria Limited, L. I. R. Resources Nigeria Limited, Kristholm Nigeria Limited and Lurgi Consult Limited.