Orders suspect’s arrest to face fraud, other charges
Alex Enumah in Abuja
Nigeria wednesday made another breakthrough in its efforts to unravel the alleged fraud in the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement (GSPA) that has pitted the federal government against a British Virgin Island company, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Limited, which has won $9.6 billion in arbitral award.
The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, granted the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to extradite the son of the founder of P&ID, Adam Quinn, a Briton, over his alleged complicity in the $9.6 billion judgment claim against Nigeria.
P&ID had secured the $9.6 billion award against Nigeria following the alleged non-execution of a 20-year GSPA the company had with the federal government to supply wet gas, which would be processed to generate electricity for the country.
But the federal government kicked against the arbitral award, which it said was fraudulently procured. But P&ID has denied the allegation.
Justice Okon Abang, who gave the order for Quinn’s arrest, said the move would help the federal government to prosecute him in the charges levied against him.
The EFCC on October 21, had arraigned Quinn and his associate, James Nolan, both British nationals, over their alleged involvement in the judgment against Nigeria.
Quinn was arraigned in absentia while Nolan had been remanded at Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja, following his inability to perfect his bail conditions.
The arraignment of the two British nationals came weeks after two P&ID directors were convicted over the deal.
The defendants, both directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution and ICIL Limited, were arraigned on a 16-count charge but later amended to 32 counts bordering on money laundering.
In an ex-parte motion dated December 16 with file number: FHC/ABJ/CR/239/19, the EFCC lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho, told the court that Quinn’s name featured in the charges no fewer than 21 times.
He said though Quinn was not within the court’s jurisdiction, an order of warrant of arrest extraditing him could be effected.
According to him, the court has the statutory powers under the provisions of sections 3, 35, 36 and 37 of the Administration of Justice Act, 2015, to grant the prayers being sought.
“We seek an order of the honourable court in issuing a warrant for the arrest of Adam Quinn, named in counts 1, 2, 4, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the criminal charge brought before this honourable court and face trial on the aforementioned criminal charges.
“And for such further or other orders as this honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case,” he said.
Justice Abang said he had considered the application and there was merit in it.
“I think it deserves to succeed to enable the prosecution that represents the Federal Government of Nigeria to commence prosecution of Adam Quinn,” he stated.
He noted that Quinn’s name appeared severally in the charges which were amended on November 20 and filed same date.
“Therefore, it is hereby ordered as prayed in line with the motion. Order is hereby made for warrant of arrest of Adam Quinn whose name appeared severally to enable Federal Government of Nigeria to commence his prosecution to enable him to answer questions on the charge,” the judge ruled.
Although Nolan was in court with his lawyer, Anozie Okwudili, and the EFCC’s witness too was in court, the judge ruled that it would not be convenient for the court to take the matter.
Justice Abang, therefore, adjourned for continuation of trial till January 20 and 21, 2020.