Two directors of the Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID), an Irish engineering company, have been convicted of charges bordering on economic sabotage and money laundering.
With this conviction, the federal government may now ask the appeal court in the UK to set aside the $9.6 billion judgment against Nigeria in the botched gas processing agreement.
They had pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against them by the federal government.
Muhammad Kuchazi, commercial director of P&ID, the British Virgin Islands, and Adamu Usman, a director of the firm in Nigeria, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of economic sabotage and money laundering at a federal high court in Abuja on Thursday.
The suit was filed following a $9 billion judgement awarded against Nigeria by a British court in favour of P&ID in January 2017.
Nigeria had failed in August to get a London high court to set aside the arbitration award.
The company claimed it entered a contract to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, Cross River state, with the Nigerian government, but that the deal collapsed because the government did not fulfil its own end of the bargain.
It then sued Nigeria at the British court, and secured judgement in its favour.
Umar Babangida, an official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), testified against the accused in what is one of the swiftest trials so far.