For jumping bail and failing to appear in court for trial, a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a British national, James Nolan, a Director in the Process and Industrial Development Limited, P&ID.
He is standing trial alongside Lurgi Consult Ltd and others in a $9.6 billion laundering case, Persecondnews reports.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed said Nolan had broken the terms of bail conditions offered him by the court and therefore revoked the bail and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
He also ordered his surety to appear in court on the next date of adjournment to justify why the bail bond should not be forfeited to the court.
Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Mr Bala Sanga, had wanted to proceed with the cross-examination of Prosecution Witness 1, Temitope Erinomo, when the court was informed that the second defendant has disappeared and that efforts to locate him were unsuccessful.
Sanga fumed at the absence of Nolan in court, saying that the first defendant, Lurgi Consult Limited, has never been represented in court, as a corporate body, since the case started.
He urged the court to revoke the bail of the second defendant, issue a bench warrant for his arrest while the bail bond should be forfeited.
He also told the court that investigations by the EFCC showed that the property given by the surety in Gwagwalada, Abuja, was not worth N100 million and urged the court to restrain the defence team from further delaying the case.
On the absence of Nolan in court, defence counsel, Mr Micheal Ajara, said his “sudden disappearance was strange”.
“My Lord, the defendant in question, has always appeared in court, except for the last adjourned date that he was sick. His medical report shows that he has bipolar, a history of mental illness and it is uncertain if the defendant is fine.
“We have notified the police, including the prosecution, and all efforts to ascertain his whereabouts has proven abortive,” he told the court, asking the judge to grant the defence more time to ascertain his whereabouts.
Justice Mohammed said that the court of law did not act in uncertainty except Ajara presents facts.
“What is clear to the court right now, is that the second defendant is nowhere to be found and there is no justification with certainty of his whereabouts”, he said.