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US court gives Nigeria permission to request documents from P&ID stakeholder

US court gives Nigeria permission to request documents from P&ID stakeholder
May 18
19:10 2020
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A US court has approved Nigeria’s request to seek documents from VR Capital Group, an asset manager with a stake in Process & Industrial Development (P&ID).

Nigeria is currently in a legal tussle to overturn a $9.7 billion judgement awarded against it for a breach of agreement in a gas project.

Bloomberg reports that Paul Engelmayer, a US district judge, ruled in Nigeria’s favour on May 14 that it could subpoena information from VR Capital, four subsidiaries and three of its directors.

Nigeria recently received court permission to access the account statements of some former public office holders including former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience; former ministers of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke and Rilwanu Lukman.

According to Bloomberg, a Cayman Islands-registered unit of VR Capital acquired a 25% interest in P&ID in 2018 whom Abubakar Malami, the attorney general of the federation, says would have conducted due diligence on the firm that is “highly relevant” to the ongoing investigation.

Court filings show that Nigeria wants VR Capital to hand over documents concerning the company’s purchase of P&ID shares as well as the contract and arbitration proceedings.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said its investigations have shown that P&ID acknowledged destroying records “in or around January 2017” and VR Capital is “a logical source” for recovering such information.

“Nigeria’s efforts to seek information on a crime that never occurred from a party that was never involved with P&ID until years after the alleged events is prima facie evidence that it has no case at all,” iNHouse Communications, a communications company representing P&ID, said by email.

“The claim that P&ID deliberately concealed documents by destroying them is totally false.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting James Nolan, Adam Quinn (at large), and two firms in which they are said to be directors – Goidel Resources Limited, and ICIL Limited on 32 counts of fraud — linked to the P&ID case.

In 2017, a UK judge found Nigeria guilty of breach of contract in a 20-year gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) with P&ID.

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