Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court on Thursday admitted to bail a British national, James Nolan, who is standing trial in a controverisal case involving gas supply contractor Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) that led to a $9.6 billion judgement against Nigeria by a United Kingdom court.
Briton James Nolan was granted bail in the sum of N500 million and a surety in like sum.
The judge ordered Nolan, who was charged alongside his compatriot Adam Quinn (at large) to produce a serving Nigerian senator to stand surety for him in the same bail sum.
In addition, the court said the 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 Federal Capital Territory Administration.
He held that the proposed surety must submit three years tax clearance certificates 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.
The court ordered the defendant to surrender all his international passports, mandating the Nigerian Immigration Service to confirm how many passports that were issued to him within the past 20 years.
Prosecution counsel 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.