Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has ordered the arrest of British national, James Nolan, for jumping bail and failing to appear for trial.
Justice Mohammed, while delivering the ruling on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, stated that Nolan had broken the terms of his bail conditions offered him by the court and therefore revoked the bail and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
TheFact Daily reports that the judge 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.
Prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, had earlier prepared to proceed with the cross examination of the first prosecution witness (PW1), 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, saying that the first defendant, Lurgi Consult Limited, had never been represented in court as a corporate body, since the matter started.
He also told the court that, investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, showed that the property given by the surety, in Gwagwalada, Abuja, was not worth N100m. He 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. According to him, Nolan’s medical report shows that he has bipolar, a history of mental illness and so 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”, Ajara said.
He prayed the court to grant the defence time to ascertain his whereabouts.
Justice Mohammed however said that the court of law does not act in uncertainty except Ajara presents facts, adding that, “what is clear to the court right now, is that the second defendant is nowhere to be found and there is no justification with certainty of his whereabouts”.
The prosecuting counsel prayed the court to revoke the bail of the second defendant, issue a bench warrant for Nolan’s arrest, while the bail bond be forfeited. His prayers were granted.
Nolan, a Director in the Process and Industrial Development Limited, P&ID, is standing trial, alongside Lurgi Consult Limited and others, in a money laundering case to the tune of $9.6 billion.