Justice D U. Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, issued a bench warrant on James Richard Nolan, a Briton, for jumping bail and failing to appear before him for trial.
Nolan, one of the directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution, DNFI, and another company, ICIL Limited, are standing trial on 16- count charges bordering on money laundering.
On the last adjourned date, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, G.C Ofulue, sought a bench warrant on the defendant, but the judge decided to give the defence more time to produce him on the next adjourned date.
At the resumed trial on Tuesday, defence counsel, Michael Ajara, told the court that his team was on the trail of the defendant, prompting the prosecution counsel to again request the court to issue a bench warrant on the defendant, and his surety to show cause why his properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.
However, Ajara pleaded with the court not to dock the surety yet, explaining that his team, the Nigerian Police, EFCC and the surety himself, are trying their best to produce the defendant before the court.
“My lords, as I speak, even the surety who was in court at the last adjourned date and is still present today, in conjunction with the police, are still searching for the defendant, but up till now, no clue to as what has happened to him, and the police are still investigating. We are still appealing to my lord to again give us more time to know what has happened to him while the investigation is still ongoing”, he said.
The judge thereafter issued a bench warrant on the defendant, and ordered the surety to appear before him on the next adjourned date to show cause why his properties should not be forfeited to the government.
He also adjourned the case till February 7, 2023