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P&ID: EFCC files fresh charges against Briton



P&ID: Court rules on Briton’s application for bail variation Friday

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday filed fresh money laundering charges against a Briton linked to the alleged contract scam in the Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Nigeria Limited, James Nolan.

The commission arraigned Nolan and six companies at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on six separate charges.

The companies are: Ecophoenix Nigeria Limited, Lurgi Consult Limited, Kristholm Nigeria Limited, Marshpearl Nigeria Limited, L.I.R. Resources Nigeria Limited and Babcock Electrical Projects Limited.

A British court had in 2019 awarded $9.6billion compensation to P&ID, an Irish engineering company, over the non-execution of a 20-year gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) the company had with the Federal Government.

However, the federal government has appealed the judgment in a London High Court.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, EFCC arraigned Nolan alongside Lurgi Consult LTD on an eight-count charge of money laundering.

In the second charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/144/20, he was arraigned alongside Kristholm Nigeria LTD.

In the third charge with suit no: FHC/ABJ/CR/145/20, Marshpeal Nigeria Limited and the Briton were docked on a six-count charge.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The EFCC Counsel, Bala Sanga, told Justice Ahmed Mohammed that the charges were filed on July 27.

READ ALSO: $10BN P&ID AWARD: Nigerian govt says it has uncovered new evidence of bribes

“The two defendants were served on July 29, 2020. I urge that the charges be read to the defendants,” he said.

However, Sanga prayed the court that Nolan should be remanded in a correctional service centre pending when his bail would be perfected.

The Briton’s lawyer, Paul Erokoro (SAN), objected to the prosecution’s prayer.

The lawyer, who cited an old case to back his argument, said Section 158 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) gives an opportunity to a defendant to be admitted to bail.

Erokoro said: “And we rely on the fact that the defendant had already been admitted to bail by this honourable court in a sister case in the charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/239/2019 pending and being held by your learned brother, Justice Okon Abang, sitting at court 6.

“We pray that the terms of bail granted by this court in a sister case as varied by the Court of Appeal on July 7, 2020, with charge number: CA/97C/2020 be adopted by this honourable court and apply to this present trial.”

Erokoro also told the court that they were ready for the commencement of the trial.

After listening to the arguments, Justice Mohammed ordered that Nolan should be granted bail on the conditions given by the sister court as varied by the Appeal Court.

He adjourned the matter till October 5 for trial.

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