Abuja, Feb. 4, 2021 – The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, admitted Muhammed Kuchazi, a Commercial Director of the Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Commercial Director to N10 million bail.
Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo admitted Kuchazi to the bail with two sureties in the like sum who must be civil servants not below the rank of a director.
Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo also ruled that the sureties must have landed property in Abuja and deposed to affidavit of means.
The judge held that before Kuchazi travels outside the shores of the country for medical attention, he must notify the court through a written letter.
She ordered that the travel documents be submitted to deputy registrar of the court.
Giwa-Ogunbanjo, who directed that the defendant be kept in the EFCC custody pending when he was able to perfect his bail, adjourned the matter until April 27 and 28 for commencement of trial.
Earlier, Kuchazi’s Lawyer, Felix Tyokase, told the court about the bail application brought pursuant to relevant sections of the law.
He said the application was brought on the ground that his client was critical ill and needed a medical attention.
Tyokase, however, informed about a letter sent to the court to protest against the EFCC’s Lawyer, Bala Sanga’s granting of an interview with the journalists on Monday.
He said such act was a prejudice against the suit already pending before the court.
Sanga did not oppose to the bail application.
He, however, disagreed with Tyokase that the statement he made in the media was contemptuous.
The judge agreed with Sanga that there was nothing in the interview that prejudiced the matter.
She, however, cautioned parties against any action that could interfere in the trial.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EFCC had, on Monday, arraigned Kuchazi, before the court on eight courts bordering on money laundering.
Although Kuchazi was arraigned alongside his company, Kore Holdings Limited, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
While the company is the 1st defendant in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/319/2020, Kuchazi is the 2nd defendant.
P&ID, an Irish engineering company, claimed it entered a contract to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State, with the Nigerian government, but that the deal collapsed because the government did not fulfil its own end of the bargain.
It then sued Nigeria at the British court and secured a 9.6 billion-dollar judgment in its favour.
However, Nigeria was granted a debt relief by the UK court.
In 2019, the EFCC had preferred 11 charges bordering on economic sabotage and money laundering against P&ID and its local subsidiary.
Kuchazi and Adamu Usman, another director, had answered to the charges on behalf of the company, and P&ID was pronounced guilty on Sept. 19, 2019.
The EFCC’s Counsel, Bala Sanga, said Kuchazi had entered into an agreement with P&ID that 3% of the proceeds of the project to be executed would be remitted to him and his company.
“It means that if the judgment against Nigeria stands, Kuchazi would get about 300 million dollars,” Sanga said.