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P&ID scandal: Court convicts Nigerian company Marqott Limited, assets forfeited

The Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice D. U. Okorowo, has found Marqott Nigeria Limited guilty and has ordered the company to be liquidated.

The company is one of thirty that have been linked to the Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) for alleged money laundering.

The company was found guilty of four counts of money laundering charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Marqott was labelled “an accomplice in the $9.6bn Gas Supply and Processing Agreement between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and P&ID”.

The firm, Giovanni Beccarelli, Valentina Fantoli, and Dimitri Duca (directors of and bank account signatories) were indicted.

The EFCC said, in September 2014 in Abuja, they failed to submit to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, a declaration of activities of Marqott Nigeria Limited.

The offence was contrary to Section 16(1) (f) and with Section 5(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011(as amended) and offence punishable under section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

EFCC also accused them of failure to combat money laundering and failure to designate at management level a compliance officer.

The offence violates Section 16(1)(f) and Section 9(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.

The company had upon arraignment on February 7, 2022 pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

The EFCC presented several witnesses and documents as exhibits during trial.

Justice Okorowo found Marqott Nigeria Limited guilty of all charges and convicted it accordingly.

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

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