The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has charged two Britons for alleged money laundering in connection with the ill-fated $9bn P&ID oil deal with the Federal Government of Nigeria

The men, James Richard Nolan and Adam Quinn, whose arraignment were in connection to the ill-fated $9billion P&ID oil deal with Nigeria,  however pleaded not guilty when arraigned in the Abuja High Court over a 16-count charge of money laundering.

One of the accused, Quinn, was not in court having been declared at large has his plea entered on his behalf by his mate, Nolan’s lawyer. The presiding judge however remanded Nolan in prison pending the consideration of his bail application.  

The EFCC said the two men are directors of two companies that the agency alleged failed to report to the anti-graft agency a certain single deposit of $125,000 into a local account.

They are also accused of failing to comply with local requirements to declare their activities to the trade and investment ministry. The EFCC said the charges relate to the 2010 contract with British Virgin Islands-based P&ID, who had been contracted to build and operate a gas-processing plant in the southeastern port city of Calabar.

Having considered that Nigeria breached the contract, the P&ID dragged Nigeria’s federal government to an international arbitration court, where they were awarded $6.6 billion as costs lost in the deal.

And whereas the Nigerian government cared little about the court proceedings, including the judgment, the said $6.6 billion award had been accruing interest since 2013 and is now worth more than $9 billion.

The government believes that the deal was a scam designed to fail so that Nigeria will be liable for the consequences. Reuters said yesterday that officials of P&ID are claiming that the EFCC has harassed, intimidated and denied due process to individuals associated with the company and the contract. But P&ID associates are not the only persons being queried over the deal. The EFCC has also been quizzing petroleum ministry officials, including a former legal adviser to the ministry, accusing them of accepting bribes and failing to follow due procedure in the deal.

The trial of the two Britons is scheduled for November 20 and 21, 2019.

Chibisi Ohakah

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