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P&ID fraud: Marqott Limited forfeits all assets to Nigerian govt.

P&ID fraud: Marqott Limited forfeits all assets to Nigerian govt.

Justice D.U Okorowo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has convicted and wound up Marqott Nigeria Limited.

Marqott Nigeria Limited is one of the 30 companies associated with the Process and Industrial Development Limited, P & ID, for money laundering.

The company was convicted on Thursday, June 16, 2022, after being found guilty of four counts of charges bordering on money laundering preferred against it by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Count one of the charges read: “That you, Marqott Nigeria Limited, being a designated Non-financial Institution; and Giovanni Beccarelli, Valentina Fantoli, and Dimitri Duca, being directors of and signatories to the bank account of Marqott Nigeria Limited, sometime in September 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, failed to comply with the requirements of submitting to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, a declaration of activities of Marqott Nigeria Limited contrary to Section 16(1) (f) read together with Section 5(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011(as amended and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”

Count two read: “That you, Marqott Nigeria Limited, being a designated Non-financial Institution; and Giovanni Beccarelli, Valentina Fantoli, and Dimitri Duca, being directors of and signatories to the bank account of Marqott Nigeria Limited, sometime in September 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, failed to develop programs to combat money laundering and other illegal acts, to wit: failure to designate at management level a compliance officer within any strata of Marqott Nigeria Limited, contrary to Section 16(1)(f) read together with Section 9(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act”.

At the point of the first arraignment on February 7, 2022, the defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, setting a stage for a full trial.

In the course of the trial, the EFCC presented many witnesses and tendered many documents as exhibits.

In his judgment, Justice Okorowo found Marqott Nigeria Limited guilty of all the four-count charges and convicted it accordingly.

He also ordered that the company be wound up and its entire assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Marqott was first arraigned on Monday, February 7, 2022, for being an accomplice in the $9.6bn Gas Supply and Processing Agreement between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and P&ID.

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