A London court on Friday gave Nigeria ’ s government more time to appeal in a long -running multi- billion – dollar arbitration case over a failed gas deal .
Process & Industrial Developments ( P & ID ) secured a High Court ruling last August to begin seizing $9. 6 billion in assets – about one- fifth of the country’ s foreign reserves.
FG appealed the decision in September , despite having missed a deadline to do so , and was given a stay of execution provided it made a $200 million security payment .
In a ruling handed to the parties Friday, Commercial Court judge Ross Cranston granted Nigeria more time to prepare its challenge with new evidence .
“ I grant Nigeria ’ s applications for an extension of time and relief from sanctions , ” he said in a written judgment .
Nigeria ’ s attorney general ’ s office said the decision was a “ major victory in our ongoing fight… to overturn the injustice of the multi-billion dollar arbitral award” .
It added : “ FG will now proceed to a full trial of the issues , where the FRN’ s substantive application to finally set aside the award will be heard . ”
Attorney General spokesman Umar Jibrilu Gwandu said the government had unearthed new evidence that the deal was “ designed to fail from the start and that its subsequent arbitral award was based on fraud and corruption” .
It added , “ We are firmly committed to overturning the award — no matter how long it takes — to ensure that this money goes towards Nigeria ’ s future. ”
The dispute centres around a 2010 deal between Nigeria and P& ID Ltd for a plant to turn natural gas burned off during oil production into electricity.
But the deal fell through , sparking the protracted legal wrangle that saw the firm claim vast sums in lost revenues.
President Muhammadu Buhari’ s administration , which inherited the case when he came to power in 2015, alleges “ massive fraud in procuring the award” .
P& ID was awarded $6. 6 billion in arbitration in 2017 as compensation for losses and the sum has since risen to nearly $10 billion with interest.
Nigeria countered last year by opening its own corruption investigation into the deal, and in October charged two British nationals with fraud and money laundering .
Two local representatives of P& ID were convicted of tax evasion and fraud , and the company’ s assets were ordered to be forfeited to the government.