Politics

P&ID rejects Abuja Court ruling, says it’s a sham; denies representatives

Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) in its reaction to the court judgement against it yesterday disowns its officials who represented the company at the court.

The company noted that it would continue to identify and seize Nigerians assets as ordered by the United Kingdom court.

“P&ID will continue its efforts to identify and seize Nigerian assets to satisfy the debt as soon as possible,” the company said in its reaction to the court ruling.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja had ruled that P&ID Ltd and P&ID Nigeria Ltd, were guilty of the 11 counts charge of fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, operating without license and other sundry charges in connection with the 2010 contract which led to the recent award to seize Nigerian assets worth $9.6billion.

The company however noted that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had shown that it was not willing to negotiate in good faith in order to find solution to the debt.

P&ID further accused the federal government of deliberately carrying out targeted campaign of unlawful and illegal detentions aimed at innocent individuals associated with it.

“The Nigerian government, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, is carrying out a targeted campaign of detentions aimed at individuals associated with the P&ID and the US $9.6bn arbitration award the P&ID has won against Nigeria.

“The P&ID calls on the government of Nigeria to accept its responsibilities under the law, and to cease the unlawful detentions,” P&ID said.

Justice Ekwo ordered the two firms to forfeit its assets to the Federal Government as they pleaded guilty.

According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), P&ID Ltd committed an offence contrary to the provision of Section 8(a), which is punishable under Section (13) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Offences Act, 2006.

EFCC also accused the firms of committing felony by dealing in petroleum products without licence, which violates Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act.

Consequently, the judged ruled; “I have reviewed the evidence tendered by the prosecution particularly Exhibits PW1A to PWIC and P325.

 “I have taken note of the plea of guilty by the defendants and also supported by PW1A and PW1B.

 “It is upon the findings that I find the first defendant and the second defendants guilty as charged.”

Justice Ekwo further noted that according to law, considering the facts, evidences and the guilty plea by the defendants, the firms had to wound up and their assets forfeited permanently to the Federal Government.

“I therefore make the following consequential orders:

“An order is hereby made winding up the first defendant, that is, Process and Industrial Developments, British Virgin Island.

“An order is hereby made that the properties and assets of the first defendant, that is, Process and Industrial Developments, British Virgin Island, be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“An order is hereby made for the second defendant, that is, Process and Industrial Developments, in Nigeria, to be wound up and its properties and assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

P&ID vehemently rejected Justice Ekwo’s ruling, describing its trial and conviction by the court in Abuja as a sham and entirely illegitimate, adding that the men who represented it in court on Thursday were no longer its employees or representatives.

P&ID Limited and P&ID Nigeria Limited; were represented at the Federal High Court by Mohammad Kuchazi and Adamu Usman respectively.

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