James Nolan, a British citizen, has been placed under arrest by Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja for failing to show up for his trial.
The director of Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) is on trial for $9.6 billion in alleged money laundering, together with Lurgi Consult Limited and others.
On Wednesday, Justice Mohammed declared that Nolan had violated the terms of the bail restrictions the court had granted him following an EFCC plea.
The bail bond was cancelled by the judge, who also mandated that the surety defend the bail bond’s continued use in court the following day.
The cross-examination of Prosecuting Witness 1, Temitope Erinomo was about to begin when it was revealed that Nolan was not present. Prosecution attorney Bala Sanga was in charge of the prosecution’s case.
Sanga voiced disappointment about the absence and added that the primary defendant, Lurgi Consult, has never had legal representation in court since the case began.
According to the attorney, EFCC investigations revealed that the property in Gwagwalada, Abuja, that the surety surrendered was not worth N100,000,000.
Michael Ajara, the defense attorney, asserted that Nolan’s departure was odd because he always showed up for court hearings except from the previous occasion when he was ill.
“His medical report shows that he has bipolar, a history of mental illness; it is uncertain if the defendant is fine. We have notified the police, the prosecution, and efforts to ascertain his whereabouts have proven abortive.”
Except in cases when Ajara delivers evidence, according to Justice Mohammed, the court never makes decisions based on speculation.
“The second defendant is nowhere to be found and there is no justification with certainty of his whereabouts”, he said.
The court dismissed Nolan’s bail, confiscated the bond, and issued a bench warrant for his arrest in response to Sanga’s prayers.