From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Commercial Director, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), Muhammed Kuchazi, was on Monday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
He was arraigned alongside his company, Kore Holdings Ltd, before Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo on an eight-count charge bordering on money laundering.
In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR11319/2020, the anti-graft agency listed the company and Kuchazi as first and second defendants.
Kuchazi, a Nigerian and a sole signatory to the company, would have benefitted the sum of 300 million dollars in the P&ID’s 9.6 billion dollars judgment deal against Nigeria should the case succeeded.
The EFCC had on Oct. 21, 2019, arraigned James Nolan and Adam Quinn (at large), both British nationals and directors of Goidel Resources Limited and ICIL Limited, before Justice Okon Abang over their alleged complicity in the 9.6 billion dollars judgment against the country.
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 came weeks after two P&ID directors were convicted over the deal.
Although Nolan and Quinn were arraigned on a 16-count charge bordering on alleged money laundering, Kuchazi and his company were arraigned on eight counts.
After all the counts were read to him, Kuchazi pleaded not guilty.
The EFCC counsel, Bala Sanga, prayed the court to remand him in Kuje Correctional Centre, pending the determination of the matter.
But Kuchazi’s counsel, Aniah Okwen, moved an oral bail application for his client.
Okwen hinged his reason on medical ground.
He argued that Kuchazi was indisposed and needed medical attention.
Sanga, in his argument, disagreed with Okwen on the oral application for bail after arraignment and the judge aligned with him.
Okwen urged the court to allow him to be kept at the EFCC custody while praying the court for a short time to file the bail application.
Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo adjourned the hearing of the bail application until February 4 and fixed April 27 and April 28 for trial.