Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) says Olasupo Shasore, former attorney-general of Lagos state, was in no way conspiring with the engineering company to scuttle Nigeria’s defence in the suit over the controversial gas supply purchasing agreement (GSPA) contract.
P&ID said Shasore almost won the case for Nigeria, based on his first substantive step after the constitution of a tribunal to hear the case.
The engineering and project management company entered a gas supply and processing agreement with Nigeria in 2010.
The company claimed Nigeria breached the terms of the contract, and it took a legal recourse, which secured an arbitral award against the country — and has since accumulated to $9.6 billion.
In its argument before Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, P&ID said Shasore, who was Nigeria’s counsel almost knocked out P&ID’s claims, adding that it is questionable for Nigeria to claim Shasore was colluding with P&ID.
The federal government, represented by Mark Howard, Philip Riches and Tom Pascoe, had told the same UK court that Shasore colluded with P&ID to avert justice in the controversial gas supply purchasing agreement (GSPA) contract.
In a document seen by TheCable, Nigeria argued that Shasore bribed two senior lawyers in the ministry of petroleum and the NNPC to go on with the collusion.
However, P&ID argues that it was Shasore who volunteered that information to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and added that the payment had nothing to do with P&ID.
“In sum, the FRN has provided no plausible evidence that P&ID conspired with the officials running the arbitration to ensure that the FRN lost,” P&ID lawyers told the UK court.
“The case advanced is based on an inference which focuses largely on the conduct of Mr Shasore. Again, however, there is no plausible basis to say that P&ID conspired with Mr Shasore. In his latest evidence, Mr Malami focuses upon alleged “bribes” paid by Mr Shasore to Mr Oguine (of NNPC) and Ms Adelore (of the MPR).
“However this is a very thin basis on to advance Stage 3 of the alleged conspiracy, given that:
those payments have nothing to do with P&ID – and the FRN has been unable to show otherwise”.
P&ID: SHASORE ALMOST WON FOR NIGERIA
An arbitration document seen by TheCable revealed that Shasore almost won the case in 2013 after arguing that P&ID’s GSPA was void and the tribunal had no jurisdiction.
P&ID said Malami’s contention that the arbitration awards were corruptly procured by P&ID bribing officials within the ministry of petroleum resources, but “the objective evidence demonstrates that such a contention is, again, highly implausible”
“Following the constitution of the Tribunal, the first substantive step which the FRN took on 3 October 2013 was to file a wholesale challenge to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction,” P&ID told the court.
“At this time, the FRN was represented by Mr Shasore, and Mr Adoke was the Attorney General. Mr Shasore argued that the GSPA was void and the Tribunal had no jurisdiction because P&ID had failed to comply with s.54 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, which prevents foreign companies doing business in Nigeria without obtaining incorporation as a separate entity in Nigeria for that purpose.
“The point he raised under s.54 is one that Mr Malami agrees with. In light of its significance, the parties also agreed to address it as a preliminary issue, and, whilst the Tribunal rejected the FRN’s case, if it had been successful it would have knocked out P&ID’s entire claim.”
P&ID ASKS COURT TO DISMISS NIGERIA’S SUIT
In Nigeria’s argument, the country had asked for “extension of time and relief from sanctions initially placed on the country”.
However, arguing that Nigeria “took a deliberate decision not to pursue a fraud investigation or to issue a ss.67/68 challenge,” P&ID asked that the “Court should have no sympathy with the present request for an extension”.
They prayed the court to dismiss Nigeria’s application.
“For all of the reasons set out above, the Court is respectfully invited to dismiss the FRN’s application for an extension of time and for relief from sanctions.”
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, Diezani Alison-Madueke and Rilwanu Lukman, former ministers of petroleum, who are suspected to have had a controversial role in the deal.
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