The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, October 21, charged two Britons in Abuja, for alleged money laundering in connection with a gas deal that has left the government facing a disputed bill of more than $9 billion.
James Richard Nolan and Adam Quinn pleaded not guilty in an Abuja court to 16 counts of money laundering. The charges were put forward by the EFCC.
The judge remanded Nolan in prison until his application for bail is considered. However, Quinn is at large and Nolan’s defence lawyer entered a plea on his behalf.
The men were directors of two companies that allegedly failed to report a deposit of $125,000 into a local account. This was disclosed in a statement issued by the EFCC.
It was also alleged that they failed to comply with local requirements to declare their activities to the trade and investment ministry.
The charges relate to a 2010 contract with British Virgin Islands-based firm Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) to build and operate a gas-processing plant in the southeastern port city of Calabar.
P&ID took Nigeria’s government to international arbitration after the deal’s collapse, eventually winning a $6.6 billion award. It has been accruing interest since 2013 and is now worth more than $9 billion.
The government has said the deal was designed to fail and called the award “an assault on every Nigerian and unfair.”
P&ID said the EFCC had harassed, intimidated and denied due process to individuals associated with the company and the contract.
The EFCC has also charged a former petroleum ministry official with accepting bribes and failing to follow protocol.
The trial of the two Britons is scheduled for Nov. 20 and 21.
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