Alex Enumah in Abuja
The hearing in the application by James Nolan, a Briton seeking variation of his bail in the $9.6 billion corruption and money laundering trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja, was yesterday stalled.
Nolan and another Briton, Adam Quinn (at large), were arraigned by the federal government on October 21, over their alleged complicity in the activities of P&ID, which recently won a $9.6 billion judgment against Nigeria.
The defendants, both directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution (DNFI) and ICIL Limited, were arraigned on a 16-count charge bordering on money laundering, tax evasion and failure to disclose nature of their activities to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Nolan however pleaded not guilty to all 16 criminal count charges when read to him.
He consequently applied for bail through his lawyer, Paul Erokoro SAN and was admitted to bail in the sum of N500m on November 7.
However at the court’s sitting of Wednesday November 20, Erokoro SAN had informed the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang of a pending application praying the court to vary the bail granted Nolan so as to provide adequate time between him and his lawyer.
Responding, Justice Abang fixed yesterday for the hearing of the bail variation motion.
When the matter was called, counsel to the defendants, asked for time to respond to the counter-affidavit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s lawyer, Iheanacho Ekele, in opposition to the Briton’s plea.
Justice Abang in a short ruling adjourned till November 27 for the hearing of the application for variation of Nolan’s bail conditions.
Part of the conditions attached to the bail is 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”.
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 that were issued to him within the past 20 years.