Process and Industrial Developments Limited ("P&ID") seeks confirmation of an arbitration award against the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its Ministry of Petroleum Resources (together, "Nigeria") worth roughly $10 billion. Nigeria moves to dismiss, asserting immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ("FSIA"). Meanwhile, the parties are engaged in related litigation in England, where Nigeria claims the award should be annulled because the arbitration and the underlying gas contract were tainted by fraud.
The Court will deny the Motion to Dismiss because Nigeria waived its immunity under the FSIA by signing the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards ("New York Convention" or "Convention"), then agreeing to arbitrate in the territory of another Convention signatory. The Court also declines to stay the case at this time, without prejudice to any future request for a stay.
Nothing in this Memorandum Opinion should be construed to convey any conclusion on whether P&ID is ultimately entitled to have the arbitral award enforced. The parties will have ample opportunities to litigate that issue--in England and, if necessary, in this Court--prior to any decision on whether to confirm the award. For now, the Court holds only that it has jurisdiction over the dispute.