The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday admitted to bail one of the signatories to the account of the Process & Industrial Development (P&ID), Mr. Richard James Nolan, on the sum of N500 million and a surety in like sum.
Mr. Nolan, a British national, has been arraigned in connection with the controversial gas supply contract that led to $9.6 billion judgement liability against Nigeria.
The court, in a ruling that was delivered by trial Justice Okon Abang, ordered the defendant who was charged alongside his compatriot, Adam Quinn (at large), to produce a serving Senator to stand surety for him in the same bail sum.
According to the Court, the said serving Senator must be someone that does not have a criminal case that is pending in any court in the country, and must have a landed property that is fully developed in the Maitama District of Abuja.
Justice Abang stressed that an officer of the Court will verify the statutory Certificate of Occupancy of the property as issued by the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGES).
Besides, he held that the proposed surety must submit a three years tax clearance certificate and sign an undertaking to always be present in court with the defendant throughout the duration of the trial.
The surety is to depose an affidavit of means with two passport photographs and undertake to pay the total bail sum, should the defendant escape from the country before the conclusion of his trial.
Likewise, the court ordered the defendant to surrender all his international passports, even as it mandated the Nigerian Immigration Service to confirm how many passports that were issued to him within the past 20 years.
The Federal Government had in a counter-affidavit that was deposed to by an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Aminu Lawal, told the court that it got an intelligence report that the defendant concluded plans to “sneak out of the country” before he was apprehended by security operatives.
Federal Government’s lawyer, Mr. Bala Sanga told the court that the defendant was arrested after an extensive covert manhunt that stretched for over two weeks.
He told the court that the defendant was a signatory to accounts of Process and Industrial Developments Limited, P&ID, Nigeria, the In-Country Support Manager of P&ID, Virgin Island.
The prosecution alleged that the defendant engaged in money laundering and tax evasion, forgery of immigration documents, running of a trafficking syndicate and was involved in corrupting Nigerian officials.