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$9.6bn Debt: How P&ID Bribed Nigerian Officials, Lawyer Tells US Court

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The Federal Government has explained to a federal court in New York, the United States, how Processing and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID), an Irish engineering firm, bribed its officials, who oversaw the controversial gas processing contract.

Christopher Major, attorney to Nigeria, in the case raised concerns over P&ID’s attempt to obtain a protective order to claw back documents it did not produce and which list transactions to which it was not a party to.

He argued that P&ID lacks any standing or basis for its demand.

Nevertheless, Nigeria said it indulged P&ID by cooperating with the company’s demand to exclude documents produced by a third party but P&ID abandoned the parties’ ‘meet and confer’ and presented a “pretextual issue to the court in the hope of rearguing its baseless attempt, contrary to Second Circuit precedent, to restrict applicants’ use of the document production.”

He said “P&ID paid bribes to corrupted FRN officials in United States Dollars (“USD”), laundered USD, and misrepresented its experience and intentions to the FRN in furtherance of its fraud.”

He added that the firm was a shell entity with no ability or intention to perform the GSPA “yet corrupted Nigerian officials charged with overseeing the GSPA with bribes and orchestrated a breach claim which it fraudulently turned into the (controversial) award.”

“AG Malami’s Declaration recites overwhelming evidence of P&ID’s and certain FRN officials’ illegal conduct,” the response reads. P&ID has no other known operations other than attempting to enforce the Award against FRN. The original principals cashed out by selling P&ID to VR Advisory Ltd. (“VR Advisory”), P&ID’s 25% owner, and Lismore Capital Limited (“Lismore Capital”), P&ID’s 75% owner.”

The government claimed that it sought information from P&ID about the transactions, but P&ID provided virtually no specific information that would facilitate FRN’s consideration.

The court had also okayed Nigeria’s request to access bank records of former President Jonathan, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke and other Nigerian official involved in the deal.

P&ID in its fresh claim says that Nigeria has obtained a significant amount of discovery “that is outside the scope of the subpoenas authorised by the Court”.

It requested a protective order requiring that “Nigeria destroy and stop using or distributing this information, which it should never have obtained in the first place.”

It also requested an order that limits Nigeria’s use of any discovery obtained to the foreign proceedings for which Nigeria insisted that it was seeking discovery in certain criminal investigations and prosecutions in Nigeria.

But Nigeria in its counter-application, among other requests, urged the court to “reject P&ID’s baseless application.

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