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EFCC arraigns P&ID director for ‘money laundering



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Muhammed Kuchazi, commercial director of the Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID), for alleged money laundering.

Kuchazi was arraigned alongside his company, Kore Holdings Limited, on an eight-count charge bordering on money laundering.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Count one of the charges reads: “That you Kore Holdings Limited, being a designated non-financial institution; Muhammed Kuchazi, being a director of and signatory to the bank account of Kore Holdings Limited, sometime in May 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja judicial division of the federal high court, failed to comply with the requirements of submitting to the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment, a declaration of the activities of Kore Holdings Limited 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.”

P&ID, an Irish engineering company, claimed it entered into 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 a British court and secured a $9.6 billion judgment in its favour.

However, Nigeria was granted a debt relief by the UK court.

In 2019, the EFCC preferred 11 individual 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. P&ID was pronounced guilty on September 19, 2019.

Bala Sanga, prosecution counsel, said Kuchazi entered into an agreement with P&ID that 3 percent 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,” Sanga said.

Kuchazi who was looking frail and sick was remanded in the custody of the EFCC pending the hearing of his bail application.

Folashade Giwa-Ogubanjo, the judge, adjourned the matter till February 4 for hearing of the bail application and April 27 for commencement of trial.
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