BRITISH national Adam Quinn faces prosecution for aiding and abetting corruption in Nigeria after an Abuja federal high court ordered his arrest over his involvement in the Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) scandal.
Earlier this year, P&ID, an Irish engineering company, secured a $9.6bn award against Nigeria, following the non-execution of a supply processing agreement it had with the federal government. However, according to the Nigerian government, the contract was fraudulent from inception and those involved, including Nigerians who signed it, did so to defraud the country.
Under the terms of a contract signed on January 11, 2010 Nigeria entered into an agreement to supply P&ID 400 MMScuFD of wet gas for a period of 20 years. While the company would make available 85% of the lean gas proceeds from the process, it was to be compensated by being offered by-products such as butane and sell on the international market.
However, Nigerian failed to deliver on its side of the bargain and on August 22, 2012, the British firm filed for arbitration, writing to the federal government on March 20, 2013, accusing it of repudiating the contract it entered into. The contract that has simply become known as the GSPA is the Gas Supply Processing Agreement, under which P&ID was to process the wet gas into lean gas suitable for firing gas-powered electricity generation plants.
Nigeria alleged that the agreement was on various grounds invalid or subsequently frustrated, varied or discharged by force majeure. However, P&ID challenged this and a panel of arbitration ruled that Nigeria was liable for the failure of the contract and should pay the British firm a sum of $6.597bn as the profit that the company would have made in the 20 years tenure of the contract.
With the matter now the subject of several litigation suits worldwide, Nigeria is challenging the validity of the contract and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has swung into action investigating it. Today, the EFCC secured a court order for the arrest of Mr Quinn, claiming that he and another Briton James Nolan were engaged in money laundering.
According to the EFCC, both men used the two firms Goidel and ICIL for money laundering purposes. On October 21 the EFCC arraigned Mr Nolan and Mr Quinn, who is still at large, over their alleged complicity in the P&ID scandal.
They were docked on a 32-count charge of money laundering. When the matter came up for today, the EFCC lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho, informed the court that he has a motion to arrest one of the persons named in the charges, arguing that the court has the statutory power to grant his prayers.
Mr Iheanacho said: “Mr Quinn is currently not within the court’s jurisdiction but if we can get a warrant of arrest, we intend to proceed extradition processes in this matter. Adam is one of the people mentioned in the matter in the charge and the name appeared severally for not less than 25 times in the amended charge dated November 20 and filed the same day.”
In a short ruling, Justice Okon Abang said: “I have considered the application argued now, I think it deserves to succeed to enable the counsel that represents the Federal Government of Nigeria to commence the prosecution of Adam. It is ordered as prayed in line with the motion, the order is hereby made for a warrant of arrest of Adam whose name appeared severally to enable Federal Government of Nigeria commences his prosecution to enable him to answer questions on the charge.”
Subsequently, the court adjourned to January 20 and 21, 2020, for further continuation of trial. Meanwhile, Mr Nolan was in court with his lawyer, Anozie Okwudili and although granted bail, he is still being detained due to his inability to meet his bail conditions.
Earlier on November 7, the judge granted Mr Nolan a bail of N500m. Justice Abang had also ordered him to produce a surety in like sum, who must be a Nigerian and a serving senator not standing any criminal trial in any court in Nigeria.
In addition, the judge held that the proposed surety must submit a three years tax clearance certificate and sign an undertaking to always be present in court with the defendant throughout the trial. Also, the senator must have a landed property fully developed in Maitama District of Abuja and fully certified by the Federal Capital Development Authority.
Furthermore, the court also ordered Mr Nolan to surrender all his international passports and mandated the Nigerian Immigration Service to confirm the number of passports issued to him within the past 20 years. His surety must submit two passport photographs.