A firm founded by two Irish businessmen, one a legend of the showband era, has been given the go-ahead to seize Nigerian assets worth up to €9bn by the London High Court of Justice.
The figure is equivalent to a fifth of the West African country’s €42bn in foreign exchange reserves.
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The ruling relates to a 2010 gas plant project the Nigerian government signed with Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID), a company backed by Brendan Cahill and Drimnagh’s Michael ‘Mick’ Quinn, the one-time manager of Twink and friend of Albert Reynolds, who died in 2015.
Mr Justice Butcher on Friday dismissed an appeal by the Nigerian government against an earlier tribunal ruling in favour of the company which had pledged to deliver 2,000MW of electricity from the plant in a country of 200 million people where only around a third of its power capacity is regularly working, despite the fact that it has Africa’s largest reserves of oil.
“The tribunal went on to consider and reject the argument that P&ID would not have performed the contract and to hold that losses… were quantified at $6,957,000,000,” he ruled. The $9bn claim includes interest on the value of the contract in the tribunal ruling in 2017.
Mr Cahill and Mr Quinn are credited with bringing in the technology to kickstart a domestic Nigerian shipping and oil support industry.
P&ID did not respond to a request for comment and while Mr Quinn was well known in his native Dublin thanks to his showbiz and political connections, little is known of Mr Cahill beyond his involvement in a series of Nigerian projects.
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