U.S. District Judge Finds Nigeria Misled Court in Effort to Avoid Payment of $9.6 Billion Award

November 6, 2020

Nigeria misled a federal district court judge as part of an effort to attack a $9.6 billion arbitration award made against it, according to a ruling issued today by U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of the Southern District of New York.

Judge Engelmayer found that in filing a request for discovery with the federal court in New York, Nigeria “misled” District Judge Lorna Schofield by depicting the request as intended for criminal proceeding and investigations in Nigeria rather than for an effort to attack the arbitral award won by the engineering firm Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID), which was enforced by a London court last year.

Nigeria’s “attempt to justify as truthful their representation to Judge Schofield falls flat,” wrote Judge Engelmayer in denying Nigeria's request to take further discovery in the United States.

“Judge Engelmayer’s opinion called out Nigeria on misleading the U.S. court, which is at the center of its last-ditch efforts to avoid payment of the arbitration award against it,” said Zachary D. Rosenbaum of Kobre & Kim, counsel to P&ID as well as the parties from whom Nigeria sought to take discovery. “P&ID is committed to vigorously enforcing its rights and will not be deterred by Nigeria’s shameless attacks on the award.”