UK Court Acquits Nigeria’s NNPC of Paying $100m Bank Guarantee to IPCO

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday disclosed that it has secured a unanimous judgment from the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, granting it reprieve from paying $100 million bank guarantee to a service company, IPCO Nigeria Limited, in a case filed against it by IPCO.

The corporation said in a statement from its Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja, that the reprieve was the latest in its protracted dispute with IPCO over a contract for the construction of the Bonny Export Terminal (BET) project in Port Harcourt.

The statement noted that 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, thus leaving NNPC with no option than to promptly challenge the award at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

According to it, IPCO has since 2004, repeatedly sought to enforce the award in England prior to the conclusion of NNPC’s challenge of the arbitral award in Nigeria, adding that during one of IPCO’s attempts to secure an order for the enforcement of the award in the UK in 2008, NNPC discovered evidence that IPCO had forged documents relating to the claims and the related arbitration in Nigeria, and as a result, the parties agreed in 2009 to adjourn the enforcement proceedings in England, in order to await the determination of the fraud allegations in Nigeria.