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P&ID’s ex-director gets N10million bail

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted bail to a former Commercial Director of Process and Industrial Development, (P&ID) Limited, Mohammed Kuchazi, who is being prosecuted for money laundering.

The trial judge, Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, granted him bail with two sureties in like sum.

She ordered that one of the two sureties to be presented by the defendant must have landed property with Certificate of Occupancy within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The identities of the sureties must be verified by EFCC while the defendant’s passport must be submitted to the court’s registry, the judge also ruled.

The court added that while still in EFCC custody before fulfilling his bail conditions, the defendant must be granted access to any hospital of his choice within Abuja should the need arise.

‘Minimise media comments’

The defendant’s lead counsel, Felix Tyokase, on Thursday urged the court to restrain the prosecuting counsel, Bala Sanga, from talking to the press regarding the ongoing trial.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the interview which Mr Sanga granted an online media and allegedly pronounced the defendant guilty of the charges.

Responding, the judge advised lawyers in the case to exercise restraint in talking to the press on matters before the court to avoid negative imputations.

EFCC had on February 1 arraigned Mr Kuchazi alongside his company, Kore Holdings Limited, on eight counts.

The prosecution alleged that Mr Kuchazi and his company failed to comply with the regulations of the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) as stipulated by the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

It also accused them of failing to comply with the requirement of submitting to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, a declaration of the activities of his company.

The Commission said the offences were contrary to Section 16(1) (f) read together with section 5(1) (a) (ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.”

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the offences they allegedly committed in 2014.

The judge on Thursday adjourned till April 27 for trial.

P&ID had secured a $9.6 billion award against Nigeria following the non-execution of a 20-year gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) it had with the Federal Government.

The Federal Government only had the enforcement of the judgment stayed by a U.K court.