Nigeria Files New Challenge to $9.6 Billion Gas-Deal Award

(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria mounted a new challenge in a U.K. court to the multi-billion-dollar award won against it by gas company Process & Industrial Development over a failed 2010 deal for a processing plant.

The filing on Friday presents “new evidence that has come to light,” according to a statement emailed by London-based Portland Communications on behalf of Nigeria’s Justice Ministry. “It is clear that the original contract was a sham commercial deal and designed to fail from the outset.”

The west African country last week placed a $200 million bank guarantee with a high court in London in order to secure a stay on asset seizures and continue its fight to overturn a $9.6 billion ruling in P&ID’s favor.

Africa’s largest oil producer is embroiled in a fight with P&ID over an agreement signed nine years ago with a previous government to build a gas processing plant. While the country claims the contract was won corruptly, a London court ruled in August that P&ID could enforce an arbitration award, paving the way for it to seize Nigerian assets. P&ID denies any wrongdoing and is pursuing the execution of the court’s decision.

“Nigeria’s new filings with the English Court is an act of desperation to try to undo the Court’s sound conclusion that P&ID’s $10 billion award is enforceable,” according to a statement emailed by London-based iNHouse Communications on behalf of P&ID. “This filing relies on witness extortion, illegal detentions and forced confessions.”

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