Monday, October 25, 2021

EFCC re-arraigns Grace Taiga, Nigerian accomplice in P&ID scam

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday re-arraigned Grace Taiga, a female accomplice in the multiple fraud case involving Process and Industrial Development Limited, P&ID, before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Abuja on a nine count amended charges, bordering on accepting bribes and other related crimes.

Count three of the charge read: “That you Grace Taiga, Enameg Vera Mases Taiga (at large) Brendan Cahill (at large), Michael Quinn (deceased) on or about the 30 of January, 2012 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire to commit an offence to wit, money laundering by disguising the origin of the sum of Five Thousand United States of America Dollars (USD 5,000) paid by Kristholm Limited -a company controlled by the owners and promoters of Process & Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) – into the HSBC bank account of Enameg Vera Moses Taiga domiciled at No.8, Canada Square, London branch of HSBC which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit; bribery and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) and punishable under section 15(2)(a) and (3) of the Money Laundering Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended)”.

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Count four reads, “That you Grace Taiga, Enameg Vera Moses Taiga (at large), Brendon Cahill (at large), Michael Quinn (deceased) on or about the 30th of January, 2012 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an offence to wit, disguising the origin of the sum of Five Thousand United States of America Dollars (USD 5,000) paid by Kristholm Limited – a company controlled by the owners and promoters of Process & Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) into the HSBC bank account of Enameg Vera Moses Taiga domiciled  at No.8, Canada Square, London branch of HSBC which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: bribery and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 15(2(a) and (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended)”.

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Count five reads, “That you Grace Taiga, whilst being the Director of Legal at Ministry of Petroleum Resources, on or about the 30h of December, 2009 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an offence to wit, using the sum of Four Thousand Nine Hundred and Sixty Nine United States of American Dollars and Five Cents (USD 4,969.5) paid by Marshpear Limited – a company controlled by the owners and promoters of Process & Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) into the HSBC bank account of Enameg Vera Moses Taiga domiciled at No.8, Canada Square, London branch of HSBC, which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit; bribery and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 15(21d) and (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended)”.

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The defendant pleaded not guilty to all the charges. In view of her plea, prosecution counsel, Abba Mohammed prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded in prison custody.

Defence counsel, Ola Olanipekun, SAN, said he filed a bail application on behalf of the defendant on March 18, 2021, praying the judge to admit her to bail on the grounds of ill-health and being a senior lawyer and former director, Legal Services in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources who was called to the Bar in 1977.

However, the prosecuting counsel said the Commission filed a counter affidavit rejecting the bail application and a further counter affidavit this morning, which he said they rely on.

After listening to the arguments by counsel, Justice Egwuatu released the defendant to her counsel and adjourned the matter till October 27, 2021 for ruling on her bail application.

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