The UK Supreme Court in a unanimous ruling March 2017 granted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, a reprieve over a $100 million bank guarantee in a case involving it and an oil service company, IPCO (Nigeria) Limited.
The reprieve was the latest in the protracted dispute arising from the contract between NNPC and IPCO for the construction of the Bonny Export Terminal, BET, Project in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
IPCO had referred its claims to arbitration in Nigeria and obtained an Arbitral Award of $154 million in 2004, with annual interest running at 14 per cent, leaving NNPC with no option than to promptly challenge the award at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, expressed delight at the development, commending the efforts of the legal team that secured judgment in favour of the Corporation.
Mr. Baru said no stone would be left unturned to extricate NNPC from encumbrances that may impede its access to hard earned funds needed to execute developmental projects by the various tiers of government in the country.
He said the development was a significant decision, which discharged NNPC from the responsibility to sustain the additional security of $100 million in favour of IPCO.
The ruling further reaffirmed the finding of the English Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal that NNPC had a good prima facie case that IPCO procured the arbitral award by fraud.
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