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P&ID fraud: Court orders arrest of Briton over failure to appear in court

P&ID fraud: Court orders arrest of Briton over failure to appear in court
September 28
22:00 2022

A federal high court sitting in Abuja has ordered the arrest of James Nolan, a Briton, for jumping bail and failing to appear for trial.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Nolan, a director in the Process and Industrial Development Limited, P&ID, alongside Lurgi Consult Limited and others, in a money laundering case to the tune of $9.6 billion.

In August 2020, the court of appeal varied the bail conditions granted to him by Okon Abang, a judge in the federal high court, but Nolan is yet to perfect the bail conditions.

Delivering a ruling on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, Justice Mohammed said  Nolan has broken the terms of his bail conditions offered to him by the court and therefore revoked the bail and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

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Mohammed also ordered Nolan’s surety to appear in court on the next adjourned date, to justify why the bail bond should not be forfeited to the court. 

Meanwhile, Bala Sanga, the counsel representing EFCC, had earlier prepared to proceed with the cross-examination.

Sanga presented Temitope Erinomo, as the first witness, however, the court was informed that the second defendant was nowhere to be found and efforts to ascertain his whereabouts proved abortive.

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Sanga, therefore, expressed dismay with the absence of Nolan in court, adding that the first defendant, Lurgi Consult Limited, has never been represented in court, as a corporate body,  since the matter started.

He also told the court that investigations by the EFCC showed that the property given by the surety, in Gwagwalada, Abuja, was not worth N100 million. 

He prayed the court to restrain the defence team from further delaying the case.

Sanga also prayed the court that the bail of the second defendant be revoked, a bench warrant issued for his arrest and the bail bond be forfeited. 

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His prayers were granted.

Responding to the absence of Nolan in court, defence counsel, Micheal Ajara claimed that his sudden disappearance was strange.

“My Lord, the defendant in question, has always appeared in court, except for the last adjourned date that he was sick,” Ajara said.

“His medical report shows that he has bipolar, a history of mental illness and it is uncertain if the defendant is fine. We have notified the police, including the prosecution, and all efforts to ascertain his whereabouts have proven abortive.”

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Ajara prayed the court to grant the defence time to ascertain his whereabouts.

In his ruling, the judge said the court of law does not act in uncertainty except when Ajara presents facts.

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“What is clear to the court right now, is that the second defendant is nowhere to be found and there is no justification with a certainty of his whereabouts,” the judge said.

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