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US court granted Nigeria applicatin to serve 10 banks, including the New York branch of AIB,

US Judge Lorna Schofield has granted Nigeria’s application, US court granted Nigeria applicatin to serve 10 banks, including the New York branch of AIB, with requests for documents as it hopes to overturn a $9.6bn (€8.8bn) arbitration award related to a business deal the country contends was corrupt.

The case relates to a deal the country did with Irish-founded company – Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) – which agreed to build a gas-processing plant in Nigeria. The agreement collapsed in 2010, with P&ID subsequently winning a $6.6bn arbitration award. It has been accruing interest since 2013.

Nigeria asked a US court for permission to issue subpoenas to access documents for use in its investigations. The application was brought under a US law that can compel parties with a base in America to co-operate in foreign proceedings, even if not directly involved. P&ID did not oppose Nigeria’s request, but described it as a “fishing expedition”. It said Nigeria’s claims were “spurious”.

US Judge Lorna Schofield has granted Nigeria’s application. While not expressly named in the order, AIB was part of the original application and did not file any court papers in response. It declined to comment.

P&ID has been granted reasonable access to documents Nigeria receives. It said this was “good news”.

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