P&ID tussle: EFCC arraigns two Britons, charged with money laundering
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged two British citizens with money laundering and arraigned them in connection to the controversial Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID) gas agreement.
James Richard Nolan and Adam Quinn, who was said to be at large, were arraigned before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, the commission disclosed in a statement.
Both directors of Goidel Resources Limited and ICIL Limited, the two are suspected of complicity in the $9.6 billion arbitral award to P&ID by the English Commercial Court in London, United Kingdom. A 16-count charge bordering on laundering was preferred against them.
The first count read: “That you James Richard Nolan and Adam Quinn (at large), sometime in December 2013 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, being Directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution (DNFI) aided the said Company in failing to comply in the requirement of submitting to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments a declaration of the activities as specified under Section 5 (1)(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16 (2b) of the same Act.”
Goidel Resources, according to a different count, failed to report to the EFCC in writing the deposit of $125,000 in its account with Guaranty Trust Bank as required under the law.
“After the charges were read to them, the defendants pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges, while Justice Abang struck out count nine of the charge on the grounds that ‘a court of law has no jurisdiction to entertain a charge against a non-registered person’,” the EFCC said.
“The prosecuting counsel, Bala Sanga asked the court for a trial date and an order to remand the defendants in prison custody. However, defence counsel, Okwudili Anozie moved an oral application for the bail of his clients. Sanga objected to the oral bail application.”
Justice Abang refused the oral application for bail and adjourned the trial to November 20 and 21 for commencement.
The court also ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody till their bail applications are considered.
A UK court had in August granted P&ID “rights to claim $9 billion worth of assets from the Nigerian government for breaching the terms of their agreement after aborting a gas project”.