Home News P&ID scam: Court orders forfeiture of James Nolan’s surety’s N100m bail bond

P&ID scam: Court orders forfeiture of James Nolan’s surety’s N100m bail bond

Mr James Nolan’

ABUJA- A Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, on Thursday, ordered a surety, Mr George Kadiri, to forfeit his N100 million bail bond to the Federal Government over his inability to produce the fleeing British national, James Nolan, in court.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu, in a ruling, also ordered Mr Kadiri, an Igala chief, who was absent in court, to be remanded in prison custody until the payment of the N100 million.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a FHC I  Abuja had, on September 28, 2022, revoked the N100 million bail granted to Nolan, a director in the Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID), for jumping bail.

In a ruling in another charge filed before the judge, Mohammed issued a bench warrant against Nolan and ordered that he should be arrested by security agencies, including the Interpol, anywhere he is sighted within or outside Nigeria and be produced in court to stand his trial.

The judge also directed the surety (Kadiri) to appear in court to show cause why his bail bond should not be forfeited.

Meanwhile, when the case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) against Micad Project City Services Ltd and Mr Nolan (1st and 2nd defendants) before Justice Egwuatu was called for ruling on Thursday, Kadiri was not in court.

The surety’s lawyer,  Lisa Egwu, tendered a medical certificate, claiming that Kadiri had a bathroom accident a week ago and was too ill to attend the court sitting.

Delivering his ruling, Justice Egwuatu held that the submission of the prosecution was not in doubt that Nolan had jumped bail and that he is currently in Ireland.

He held that since September 27, 2022, the surety and the defence team had been aware that the 2nd defendant (Nolan) had jumped bail.

The judge also agreed with the anti-graft agency that no significant effort had been made by the surety to ensure the attendance of the fleeing Briton in court nor had he shown to court what additional or fresh effort he intended to make in procuring his attendance in court.

Egwuatu further agreed with the prosecution that Kadiri, from the look of things did not know Nolan and that there was every likelihood that the suretyship was just a business transaction.

The judge, who held that it was the responsibility of the surety to produce the defendant in court, said this was even when a bail relationship is a transaction between the surety and the court.

He, therefore, said that the responsibility of producing Nolan in court neither lied on the police nor the EFCC.

He adjourned the matter until Oct. 24 for the substantive trial.

 NAN also reports that Justice Egwuatu had asked Kadiri, who is also a retired civil servant living in Gwagwalada, Abuja, to give reasons why his N100m bail bond should not be forfeited to the Federal Government, following his failure to produce the second defendant in court.

Nolan was at the centre of an ongoing 9.6 billion dollars P&ID scam trial.

Nolan, a director with Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution, with another company, ICIL Limited, are standing trial on 16 counts bordering on money laundering before Justice Mohammed to the tune of $9.6 billion.

The prosecuting counsel, Bala Sanga, had earlier lamented the deliberate ploy by the defence counsel to delay the trial, saying the court had been magnanimous to the defence for over six months.

He therefore urged the court to ignore the defence’s prayer for more time to produce the defendant and order the forfeiture of the N100m bail bond to the government.

Lamenting, Sanga said, “My lord, it is very clear that the defence cannot produce the second defendant.

“Enough time has been given; asking the court for more time amounts to taking the court for granted. The same story was told in September and today, the story has not changed,” he had said.

But the defence counsel, Mr Michael Ajara, pleaded with the court for a short adjournment to give the surety the opportunity to make a written application and show cause regarding all the facts of the case, before taking any decision.(NAN)

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