Landmark Ruling - Leigh Crestohl comments on Nigeria's success in challenging USD 11 billion International arbitration award

October 24 2023

The London Commercial Court has handed down a landmark judgment setting aside USD 11 billion arbitration award in the case of Federal Republic of Nigeria v Process & Industrial Developments Limited (PI&D). Nigeria was successful in challenging the substantial award made in favour of P&ID against Nigeria for breaching a gas processing contract. 

Speaking to African Law & Business, Leigh Crestohl comments:

This landmark ruling has again underlined the role of London as the leading venue for the fair and impartial resolution of major international disputes. In turbulent international financial conditions the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must feel significant relief at this decision, which cancels Nigeria’s liability to make a payment to private parties said to be worth more than ten times its annual health budget.

The decision also illustrates that the English Court will not hesitate to investigate allegations that the conduct of a London arbitration was tainted by fraud, and to put matters right where that is proved. The detailed Judgment of Mr Justice Knowles, running to 140 pages, demonstrates a forensic analysis of the facts and law and reflects the Court’s dedication to achieving justice.

For the international community, the message should be that the institutions of all nations must not waver in their efforts to root out historic corruption no matter how long ago, and how difficult the task is.”

At a time when allegations of bribery and corruption appear to be arising with increasing frequency in arbitration cases, the case of Federal Republic of Nigeria v Process & Industiral Developments Limited (PI&D) highlights the importance of constant vigilance not only in the contract procurement process, but also the dispute resolution process.

The full article published in African Law & Business here.

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