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LONDON: Nigeria won an appeal on Monday to overturn a multi-billion-dollar damages bill in a long-running arbitration case over a failed gas deal.

The dispute involved a 2010 agreement between Nigeria and Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) to operate a plant in the south of the West African country converting natural gas burned off during oil production into electricity.

The company was awarded a 20-year contract, but the deal fell through, sparking the protracted legal wrangle with P&ID claiming vast sums in lost revenues.

“I have not accepted all of Nigeria’s allegations,” Judge Robin Knowles said in the The Business and Property Court in London.

“But the awards were obtained by fraud and ... the way in which they were procured was contrary to public policy.”

P&ID, a Virgin Islands registered company founded by two Irish business partners, was awarded $6.6 billion in arbitration in 2017 as compensation for losses. It secured a High Court ruling in 2019 to begin seizing $9.6 billion in assets — about one-fifth of Nigeria’s foreign reserves.

Abuja appealed the decision and was given a stay of execution provided it made a $200 million security payment.

Nigeria countered by opening its own corruption investigation into the deal, convicting two local representatives of P&ID of tax evasion and fraud and ordering the company’s assets to be forfeited to the government.

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