Ikechukwu Nnochiri – Abuja
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, gave the Federal Government the nod to seize all assets belonging to P&ID Limited, Virgin Island and its Nigerian affiliate, P&ID Nigeria Limited..
The two firms were found guilty on the 11-count charge of tax evasion and money laundering brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and convicted accordingly by the court.
The firms were linked to the controversial gas supply contract that led to the British Court’s judgement ordering the seizure of Nigeria’s foreign assets worth $9.6billion.
The companies had through their representatives, pleaded guilty to all the charges brought against them by the EFCC.
While P&ID Ltd, Virgin Island was represented by its Commercial Director, Mohammad Kuchazi, P&ID Nigeria Limited was represented by a lawyer, Adamu Usman.
According to the EFCC, the firms fraudulently claimed to have acquired land from the Cross River State Government in 2010 for the gas supply project agreement that resulted to the $9.6bn judgment debt.
In his judgement, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the firms having admitted to the crime, he had no option than to convict them accordingly.
Relying on provisions of section 19(2) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011, and section 10(2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act, 2006, the court ordered the federal government to wind up the two firms and confiscate all their assets in the country.