A Federal High Court sitting In Abuja on Wednesday ordered the immediate arrest of a British national, James Nolan, for jumping bail in a fraud case involving the P&ID firm.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, issued this order after Nolan, who is a director in the Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) failed to appear for trial.
Nolan is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) along with Lurgi Consult Limited and others, in a money laundering case to the tune of $9.6 billion.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed said Nolan had broken the terms of his bail conditions offered him by the court. He, therefore, revoked the bail and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
He also ordered Nolan’s surety to appear in court on the next adjourned date, to justify why the bail bond should not be forfeited to the court.
The prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, had earlier prepared to proceed with the cross-examination of Prosecuting Witness 1, Temitope Erinomo, when the court was informed that the second defendant was nowhere to be found and efforts to ascertain his whereabouts proved abortive.
Sanga expressed dismay with the absence of Nolan in court. He also said the first defendant, Lurgi Consult Limited, has never been represented in court, as a corporate body, since the matter started.
He told the court that investigations by the EFCC showed that the property given by the surety, in Gwagwalada, Abuja, was not worth N100m and prayed the court to restrain the defence team from further delaying the case.
Responding to the absence of Nolan in court, defence counsel, Micheal Ajara claimed that his sudden disappearance was strange.
‘My Lord, the defendant in question, has always appeared in court, except for the last adjourned date that he was sick. His medical report shows that he has bipolar, a history of mental illness and it is uncertain if the defendant is fine. We have notified the police, including the prosecution, and all efforts to ascertain his whereabouts has proven abortive’, he said.
He prayed the court to grant the defence time to ascertain his whereabouts.
However, Justice Mohammed said that the court of law does not act in uncertainty.
“What is clear to the court right now, is that the second defendant is nowhere to be found and there is no justification with the certainty of his whereabouts”, he said.
The judge then granted Sanga prayers for the court to revoke the bail of the second defendant, issue a bench warrant for his arrest and declare his the bail bond forfeited.