By Soni Daniel – Abuja
A Nigerian court has remanded a Briton-James Richard Nolan in Abuja Prison over his complicity in the controversial Gas Processing and Supply Agreement that resulted in Nigeria being fined over $9.6 billion by a British commercial and arbitration court.
The other British suspect, whose name was given as Adam Quinn, was reported to be at large when his name was called before Justice Okon Abang of the Nigeria Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
The two men described as directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution (DNFI) and ICIL Limited, were docked on a 16 count charge bordering on money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Count one of the charges reads: “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”.
Another count reads: “That you Goidel Resources Limited, sometime in February 2014, at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Federal High Court being a Designated Non-Financial Institution (DNFI) failed to report in writing to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission a single lodgment of the sum of $125,000 ( One Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand, Dollar only), in your account number 0154696732 domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc as specified under Section 10(1b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 16(2b) of the same Act.”
After the charges were read to them, the defendants pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges, while Nigeria 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 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.
“We object to the oral application of the defendant. We would be requesting an affidavit showing cause, why the bail should be granted,” he said.
After hearing the argument of counsel, Nigeria Justice Abang refused the oral application for the bail of the defendants and adjourned to November 20 and 21, 2019, for the commencement of trial.
He ordered the remand of the defendants in prison custody, pending the consideration of their bail applications.