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P&ID scam: Court issues arrest warrant against Irishman

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P&ID scam: Court issues arrest warrant against Irishman

A Federal High Court, FHC, Abuja, on Thursday issued an arrest warrant against an Irishman, Neil Murray, for his involvement in the alleged Process and Industrial Development Limited, P&ID scandal.

Judge Ahmed Mohammed issued the order, following an ex parte petition brought by counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Bala Sanga.

Mr Sanga told the court that the ex parte petition, noted: FHC / ABJ / CR / 143/2020 dated August 20 and filed on August 25, was filed in accordance with Articles 3, 35, 36 and 37 of the Administration of criminal justice. Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, and by virtue of the inherent power of the court.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that while the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through the EFCC, is the Claimant, Mr. Murray is the Respondent.

NAN also reports that Murray, an employee of P&ID, is also a director of Lurgi Consult Ltd., an associated company of P&ID.

Counsel said the respondent Murray, who is on the run, is named in counts one through eight of criminal charge number: FHC / ABJ / CR / 143/2020 in court in which a P&ID director, James Nolan, is currently on trial standing.

Sanga therefore applied to the court for an arrest warrant against Murray to be brought to court and tried on the aforementioned criminal charge.

He cited three grounds on which the complaint was brought.

“That this Honorable Court has statutory powers under the provisions of Sections 3, 35, 36 and 37 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to grant requested prayers

“That the Respondent is named in Counts 1 to 8 of Criminal Charge No .: FHC / ABJ / CR / 143/2020 and indicated as being on the run.

“That the evidence in support of Charge No .: FHC / ABJ / CR / 143/2020 disclose prima facie evidence against the Respondent, among others,” he said.

The EFCC lawyer also asked the court to issue an arrest warrant for Nolan, following his absence in court.

But the judge refused to grant the request since there was no evidence that the notice of hearing for Thursday’s proceedings had been served on Nolan.

Judge Mohammed, who granted the request for an arrest warrant against Murray, adjourned the case until January 25, 2022, for the trial to continue.

NAN reports that Mr Nolan, along with two other people, was also brought to justice on October 18 on an amended count of 32 bordering on money laundering before FHC Judge Donatus Okorowo.

Although Nolan and two companies; Goidel Resources Limited, a named non-financial institution, DNFI and ICIL Limited were brought to justice again, his co-accused, Adam Quinn, was on the run.

NAN reports that an alleged accomplice to the scandal, a Nigerian, Ms Grace Taiga, former director of legal services at the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is also on trial before Judge Obiora Egwuatu of the same tribunal.

On September 20, 2019, the EFCC had already brought Taiga to justice in the High Court of the FCT in Apo, for complicity in the controversial contract signed by Nigeria with the Irish company P&ID in 2008.

Recall that Judge Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja had condemned the company, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, to end up in Nigeria and its property, confiscated for the benefit of the federal government.

Mr. Ekwo sentenced two directors, Mohammed Kuchazi and Adamu Usman.

Mr. Kuchazi and Usman were charged with 11 counts, including obtaining a false pretext; trading in petroleum products without an appropriate license; money laundering and failure to register the P&ID with the Special Anti-Money Laundering Control Unit, SCUML, as required by law, amounting to economic sabotage against the Nigerian state.

They had pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraudulent involvement in the contract.

The court, in its ruling, convicted the suspects and ordered the company to confiscate all of its assets for the benefit of the Nigerian government.

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