Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Nigeria victim of fraud shock

  Was Nigeria the victim of a 419 fraud, or advance fee fraud?

We’re shocked, shocked we tell you to find that an African country appears to may have been the victim of a scam. Our faith in capitalist enterprises seeming not to be models of virtue, rectitude and probity in their dealings with capitalist states has been deeply shaken. To take advantage of a government like that goes far beyond the pale.

For new readers to SOYMB, let it be noted that the above is sarcasm. Capitalism as a whole is a cut-throat social system that would leave seventeenth and eighteenth pirates gasping at its audacity.

‘ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — A London judge on Monday overturned an arbitration award that would have required Nigeria to pay $11 billion over a failed gas project, finding the contract was obtained through fraud.

The High Court ruling by Justice Robin Knowles reverses the award to the British Virgin Islands-based Process & Industrial Developments Ltd. over the 2010 gas deal. The payment would have dealt a massive blow to Nigeria’s ailing economy.

The judge said although he did not accept all of Nigeria’s allegations discrediting P&ID and the contract, “the awards (of the contract) were obtained by fraud … and the way in which they were procured was contrary to public policy.”

Knowles said three things showed the case as an “irregularity”: P&ID providing evidence it knew was false in a witness statement, the company’s bribery or corrupt payment to a Nigerian civil servant and the company’s ”improper retention” of Nigeria’s legal document which it received during arbitration.

P&ID in 2017 secured the compensation award, which originally was $6.6 billion but is now estimated to be $11 billion with accrued interest. The company’s main claim in the arbitration was for loss of profit for the 20 years the agreement covers.

The contract signed with Nigeria's government in 2010 was for the company to build a gas processing plant in the south eastern port city of Calabar. The project collapsed not long after it was signed, and P&ID took the Nigerian government to arbitration, alleging a breach of contract.

Nigerian officials said the contract was signed under questionable circumstances while late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was critically ill and Goodluck Jonathan, his deputy, was acting president. Officials accused P&ID of bribery and corruption in securing the contract and during arbitration, which the company denied.


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