A few weeks ago, Nigeria secured a landmark victory in its bid to overturn a $10 billion arbitration judgment award against it in the P&ID case. Previously, Nigeria was required to put a $200 million security on that sham award execution. But good things happened after the favourable decision. Besides this $200M, “The court also awarded a £70,000 cost in favour of Nigeria in addition to an earlier award of £1.5m.” Yet, with all these goodies, Nigeria is getting into a trap if we do not offer our best moves.
It is a miracle: P&ID which felt it could pocket more than a third of Nigeria’s budget has been asked by an English Court to pay Nigeria “£1.5 million within 21 days to cover legal costs the FRN incurred as part of their successful application for the extension of time to challenge the arbitration award and procedural hearing earlier in the year”.
If the UK court rules against us when it matters most – dismissal of the $10 billion sham award -, Nigeria will lose the moral standi to claim unfairness. So, nothing has happened and everyone must work hard to ensure total victory especially at the end. This could be a trap: make them feel the system is fair, only to unleash surprises! Yes, people, hold that celebration!
That said, it seems this particular UK court is truly fair unlike what we have seen in the ones trying Malabu and other cases across Europe. In those ones, they convict the oil majors, fine them for crimes in Nigeria, but ask them to send the fines to their own treasuries with nothing for the Nigerian people. Largely, they come to Abuja, select the right cases, try them in Europe, and make money with no compensation to the people directly affected, with full understanding that Nigeria’s government is weak to do anything.