Alleged P&ID scam: Court strikes out money laundering suit against ex-Petroleum Ministry’s director

Court gavel

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, struck out the money laundering charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against late Mrs Grace Taiga, former Director of Legal, Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu struck out the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/321/2021 after Taiga’s counsel, Daniel Alumun, presented her death certificate to the court.

Justice Egwuatu was, in the last adjourned date, informed of the demise of Taiga by her lawyer but the EFCC demanded to see the death certificate of the ex-director.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the anti-graft agency was, however, not represented in court in today’s proceeding.

The EFCC had, on Oct. 7, 2021, re-arraigned Taiga before Justice Egwuatu on a nine-count amended charge bordering on money laundering offence but pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Taiga, an accomplice in the multiple fraud case involving Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Limited, was on Oct. 27, 2021, admitted to bail in sum of N30 million with two sureties in the like sum.

She was also standing trial before Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of a Federal Capital Territory High Court on allegations bordering on bribery in the Gas Supply Processing Agreement between P&ID and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Late Taiga was among other Nigerians and foreigners being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency in the money laundering offence.

NAN had earlier reported that a P&ID Director and Briton, James Nolan, was, on Jan. 27, arrested by the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) in Italy after he jumped bail and fled Nigeria.

The Briton, who doubles as Irish citizen, is standing trial in the ongoing 9.6 billion dollars P&ID scandal in Nigeria.

He is yet to be extradited back to Nigeria.

A reliable source in the EFCC told NAN that for Nolan to continue his trial in Nigeria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the INTERPOL must liaise for his extradition.(NAN)