By Shola Abayomi.
Muhammad Kuchezi and Adamu Usman, both officials of UK firm, Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) on Thursday, pleaded guilty before the Federal High Court Abuja, to an 11-count charge of fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.
The charges were filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), following the recent ruling of a UK court which imposed a $9.6bn judgement debt on Nigeria after a failed gas supply project agreement with P&ID.
Recall that the UK court also empowered P&ID to seize Nigeria’s assets globally to satisfy the humongous debt.
However, Muhammad Kuchezi, a commercial director of P&ID in the British Virgin Islands and his counterpart, Adamu Usman, a representative of the firm in Nigeria both admitted to being guilty of all the charges read to them before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja.
The duo did not object to the documents tendered as exhibits relating to the failed gas supply agreement between the company and the Nigerian government.
Kuchezi and Usman were also said to have lied that the firm had purchased a land from the Cross River State Government in 2010 for the gas supply project agreement which led to the $9.6bn judgment.
In its testimony, the EFCC through its official, Umar Babangida disclosed that P&ID had defaulted in its tax payments to the government.
Justice Inyang Ekwo in his judgement, ordered the forfeiture of the firms’ assets to the federal government.
The ruling read in part, “That the assets of the first convict are forfeited to the federal government of Nigeria. An order is therefore made for the second convict to forfeit its assets to the federal government of Nigeria.”