Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday urged the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, not to vary the bail conditions of a British national, James Nolan who is fingered in the alleged gas supply scam that led to the $9.6bn debt against Nigeria.
The prosecution counsel, in opposing the application by the Briton for the variation of his bail conditions, told Justice Okon Abang that the Commission would file a counter-affidavit on the matter.
He further requested for a date to respond to the further affidavit served on the commission by counsel to the defendant, Chris Ezugwu to support the request.
He said: “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.
“This is because, we were served about 2:00 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday).”
The prosecution counsel, therefore, prayed the court to give him some days to file his counter-affidavit on Nolan’s request.
The defendant’s counsel 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 December 6 for further hearing of the application.
He said the move was necessary for the interest of justice.
Justice Abang said: “I think it is in the interest of justice to adjourn this matter to enable the prosecution to respond to further affidavit serve on them by the defendant’s counsel.”
Shortly after the court sitting, Sanga told journalists that the Commission was against Nolan’s plea for bail variation because of the peculiar circumstances of the case.
“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,” he stated
The Federal Government had recently re-arraigned Nolan, on an amended 32-count charge dated November 20, which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him.
Nolan, who was identified as a signatory to accounts of Process and Industrial Developments Limited, P&ID, Nigeria, and the In-Country Support Manager of P&ID, Virgin Island, firms that were involved in the alleged contract scam, pleaded not guilty to the amended charge.
Aside money laundering, the defendant who was charged alongside his compatriot, Adam Quinn (currently at large), and two firms, Goidel Resources Limited and ICIL Limited, was alleged to have engaged in sundry acts of fraud, tax evasion and failure to disclose their activities to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in line with the Money Laundering Act.