Updated – $9.6 billion assets: P&ID representatives plead guilty to fraud, tax evasion

The two representatives of Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) who were arraigned on Thursday before the federal high court in Abuja on 11 counts of fraud and tax evasion, has pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against them.

After both men representing the firms pleaded guilty to all the 11 counts read to them before Justice Inyang Ekwo on Thursday. Ekwo stated that the firms have admitted to the crime and so there was no other option than to impose the law against them.

The charges is in relation to the contract leading to the recent controversial $9.6 billion court judgment by a British court against the Nigerian Government.

They were alleged to have fraudulently claimed to have acquired land from the Cross River State Government in 2010 for the gas supply project agreement that resulted to the $9.6bn judgment debt.

The two – Mohammad Kuchazi, described as Commercial Director, P&ID Ltd, Virgin Island and Adamu Usman, identified as representative of P&ID Nigeria Limited, pleaded guilty before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday to an 11-count charge brought against the firms by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The charge was directed at P&ID Limited (Virgin Island) and its affiliate in Nigeria – P&ID Nigeria Limited. Kuchazi and Usman pleaded on behalf of both companies during the proceedings before Justice Inyang Ekwo.

They were, among others, accused of fraudulently claiming to have acquired land from the Cross River State Government in 2010 for the Gas Supply Project Agreement (GSPA), in relation to which an arbitration tribunal that sat in London awarded damages estimated at about $9.6billion against Nigeria.

The companies were accused of committing the offences in relation to the Gas Supply Project Agreement (GSPA) over which a British court recently granted the P&ID the permission to seize Nigeria’s assets in to secure the about $9.6billion judgment given in its favour.

Usman a lawyer, represented himself, while Kuchazi was represented by a lawyer, Dandison Akurunwua.

 After the defendants pleaded guilty to the 11 counts, an EFCC investigator, Usman Babangida, was called to the witness box for review of facts which was not opposed by the defence

The prosecution led by Bala Sanga has asked Justice Ekwo to order the winding up of the company as the sentence for the offences.

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