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INTERPOL arrests P&ID director James Nolan in Italy amid $9.6bn scandal

Nolan, embroiled in Nigeria's P&ID saga, detained during a visit to his spouse as extradition efforts loom

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The International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) has detained James Nolan, a director of Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID), amidst the ongoing $9.6 billion controversy in Nigeria. Nolan, an Irish national implicated in the P&ID scandal, was apprehended on January 27 in Italy while visiting his wife, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Sources within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) confirmed the arrest, stating that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would initiate extradition proceedings to bring Nolan back to Nigeria to face trial.

Nolan, who also holds British citizenship, found himself at the heart of the contentious Gas Supply Processing Agreement signed in 2010. Despite being granted bail by a Federal High Court in Abuja, Nolan has failed to appear for trial since 2022, prompting the revocation of his bail and the issuance of a bench warrant for his arrest.

In a separate case, Nolan’s surety, George Kadiri, was ordered to forfeit his N100 million bail bond to the Federal Government, with a directive for his remand in prison custody until the payment.

Facing multiple charges related to the controversial gas supply agreement, Nolan’s trial in absentia proceeded before Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court. However, proceedings were stalled as Justice Okorowo was unavailable due to official engagements.

Nolan’s defense counsel, Michael Ajara, informed the court of their intention not to call witnesses, relying instead on the prosecution’s case. The judge scheduled February 15 for the final adoption of written arguments from both parties.

Meanwhile, a London Business and Property Court, presided over by Justice Robin Knowles, annulled the $11 billion awarded against Nigeria in favor of P&ID Ltd., citing fraud and a breach of public policy.

As Nolan’s extradition process unfolds, the arrest signals a significant development in the intricate web of Nigeria’s legal battle with P&ID, shedding light on the complexities and international dimensions of the ongoing scandal.

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