An Abuja Federal High Court has ordered the shutdown of operations and the forfeiture of the assets of Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID), Virgin Island and its Nigerian affiliate, P&ID Nigeria Limited.
The proclamation was given by Justice Inyang Ekwo following the arraignment of two representatives of Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID) on 11-counts charge.
Breakdown of the charges: The firms were alleged to have fraudulently obtained lands from the Cross River State Government in 2010 for the gas supply project agreement that resulted to the $9.6bn judgment debt on count one.
They were arraigned on a second count charge of obtaining land from the state government with the intent to defraud, as well as ‘count three’ for conspiring with certain individuals to commit a felony by dealing with petroleum product without the appropriate licence.
The firm admits guilt: The firms admitted guilt to ‘count four’ which was a similar charge to ‘count three’, and pleaded guilty to count five, and count six which bordered on the charges of tax evasion.
They pleaded guilty to count seven, and count eight of concealing the origin of over N3 million operated by P&ID when they knew that the money formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.
They also pleaded guilty to count nine that between January and December 2009, they concealed the unlawful origin of over N2 million in a commercial bank when they reasonably ought to know that the proceeds formed part of their unlawful act of tax evasion.
They pleaded guilty to concealing the origin of over N1 million in a commercial bank operated by P&ID when they ought to reasonably know that it formed part of proceeds of tax evasion by the company.
The defendants also pleaded guilty to the last ‘count 11’ for failing to comply with the requirements of submitting a declaration of their activities to the Ministry of Trade and Investment.
Since the defendants admitted to the crime, Justice Inyawo Ekwo had no option than to convict them according to provisions of section 19(2) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011, and section 10(2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act, 2006.
The court ordered the Federal Government to wind up the two firms and confiscate all their assets and properties in the country.
P&ID Ltd in British Virgin Island was represented by its Commercial Director, Mohammad Kuchazi while P&ID Nigeria Limited was represented by a lawyer, Adamu Usman.