28th November, 2019
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has called on the Federal High Court, Abuja, not to grant the application for bail variation by the British national, James Nolan.
The EFCC Counsel, Bala Sanga, who told Justice Okon Abang, on Thursday, said the anti-graft agency would file a counter-affidavit to that regard.
Sanga explained that Nolan’s Lawyer, Chris Ezugwu, had in less than 24 hours, served on him the further affidavit, seeking the court’s leave to grant their request.
“I apply for a shift in the date to take our arguments, My Lord, in order to enable us to file a counter-affidavit in response to further affidavit served on us less than 24 hours before the court sitting.
“We were served about 2pm yesterday,” he said.
The prosecution counsel, therefore, prayed the court to give him some days to file his counter-affidavit on Nolan’s request.
Defendant’s lawyer, Ezugwu, who acknowledged serving the fresh application on Sanga the previous day, objected to the EFCC’s plea for adjournment.
Justice Abang, thereafter, adjourned proceeding till Dec. 6 for further hearing of the application.
He said the move became necessary in the interest of justice.
“I think it is in the interest of justice to adjourn this matter to enable the prosecution respond to further affidavit serve on them by the defendant’s counsel,” the judge held.
Shortly after the court sitting, Sanga said that the commission was against Nolan’s plea for bail variation because of the peculiar circumstances of the case.
According to him, we are opposed to the court making the conditions of bail lighter because there are some documents from Nigeria Immigration Service that are indicative of the fact that Nolan committed immigration quota trafficking and possibly could be illegal alien.
The EFCC’s lawyer stressed that if granted the request, Nolan might jump bail.
Justice Abang had, on Nov. 7, admitted Nolan to bail in the sum of N500 million.
The judge, who granted the bail-in an application filed by Nolan, ordered that the applicant must produce a surety in like sum, who must be a Nigerian and a serving senator not standing any criminal trial in any court in Nigeria.
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 senator must have a landed property fully developed in Maitama District of Abuja and fully certified by the FCDA.
”The surety must submit two passport photographs,” Abang had ruled.
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 were issued to him within the past 20 years.
EFCC had, on Oct. 21, arraigned Nolan and Adam Quinn (at large), both British nationals, over their alleged complicity in the 9.6 billion dollars judgment against Nigeria.
Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), an Irish engineering company, had secured the award against Nigeria following the non-execution of a 20-year gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) the company had with the federal government.
The arraignment of the two British nationals is coming weeks after two P&ID directors were convicted over the deal.
The defendants, both directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution and ICIL Limited, were arraigned on a 16-count charge bordering on money laundering.