Two Irish businessmen to gain $3bn if Nigeria loses P&ID case in UK

Allegations of millions of dollars in bribes, shady middlemen, and fabricated evidence characterized the UK trial, which concluded this week, in connection with the $11 billion (€10.3 billion) dispute between Nigeria and Process & Industrial Development Ltd. If Nigeria loses, a few individuals, including two Irish businessmen, hedge fund-backed VR Capital Group Ltd, two UK lawyers, and P&ID's founder, stand to profit billions.

The case stems from a failed 2010 gas deal between Nigeria and P&ID, a British Virgin Islands-registered company founded by two Irish businessmen, Michael Quinn (who died in 2015) and Brendan Carroll. P&ID received a $6.6 billion premium as a result of the arbitration, which has now grown to more than $11 billion in interest. If P&ID wins and is fully compensated, hedge fund VR Capital Group Ltd, two UK lawyers, P&ID's founder, and two missing witnesses could all win billions.

If P&ID wins, Adam Quinn, Michael Quinn's son, and another businessman stand to make more than $2 billion and nearly $1 billion, respectively.

According to Bloomberg, the outcome of this case has the potential to have a significant impact on Nigerian finances due to the country's declining foreign reserves; an unfavorable ruling could make borrowing more expensive and override policy goals of the country's newly elected president, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Nigeria claimed that bribery was present throughout the entire process, from the initial gas deal to the 2017 arbitration award worth more than $11 billion with interest.

During the trial, P&ID's surviving founder Cahill admitted to sending $250,000 in cash from Ireland to a Nigerian official - another unrelated matter.

"No one who sat through the factual evidence could have missed the stench of corruption," said Mark Howard, Nigeria's current lawyer.

However, P&ID's representative, David Wolfson, denied these allegations, claiming that Nigeria fabricated evidence in order to invalidate the award.

"We completely deny that there was any corruption," P&ID's lawyer, David Wolfson, said in his closing argument on Wednesday.

"Nigeria fabricated evidence in order to set a "forensic trap" for the court to rule against the award."

A spokesperson for P&ID also stated that witnesses for Nigeria were harassed by law enforcement and no calls were made due to it not being mandatory under court rules - plus there were two key witnesses missing from trial; Adam Quinn (son of late P&ID co-founder Michael Quinn) and another businessman who stand to make billions if they succeed. Besides this witness not showing up due to mental health problems days before his deposition online, another witness absent at last minute had information related to "eye-watering sums of cash".

"This has been an unusually one-sided trial," Mr Wolfson concluded. "The Federal Republic of Nigeria must now lie in its bed, having chosen to make it without evidence."

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