A London High Court on Friday morning upturned the $10 billion arbitration judgment given against Nigeria in favour of a company, Process & Industrial Development over a gas processing contract.
The trial judge, Sir Ross Cranston handed down the judgment remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. The suit with Case No: CL-2019-000752 gave Nigeria an extension of time to prove that the whole contract is a fraud against the Nigerian nation.
The judgment reads: ““Covid-19 Protocol: This judgment will be handed down by the judge remotely by circulation to the parties’ representatives by email and release to Bailii. The date and time for hand-down will be deemed to be 10:30 AM on 4 September 2020.”
Sir Cranston in his judgment stated: “Nigeria has acted reasonably. Given the strong prima facie case of fraud which I have concluded Nigeria
has established, the position is along the lines of that identified in Terna, where Popplewell J identified the substantial injustice an applicant would suffer in respect of the underlying dispute if deprived of the opportunity of making a challenge should an extension of time be refused: Terna Bahrain Holding Company WLL v Bin Kamil Al
Shamsi  EWHC 3283 (Comm),  1 Lloyd’s Rep 86, ;
For the reasons I have given, P&ID has contributed to the delay, and it will not by reason of the delay suffer irremediable prejudice in addition to the mere loss of time if the application is permitted to proceed. Although not a primary factor, fairness in the broadest sense favours an extension in this case.
For the reasons given, I grant Nigeria’s applications for an extension of time and relief from sanctions”.