Fantoli, who is an associate of James Nolan, a Briton, recently jumped bail.
A Federal High Court in Abuja ordered on Thursday the arrest of Corrado Fantoli, one of the suspects behind the alleged $9.6 billion scandal at Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Ltd.
The order was issued by Justice Donatus Okorowo while ruling on an ex-parte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s counsel, Bala Sanga.
Recall that Fantoli, who is an associate of James Nolan, a Briton, recently jumped bail.
Due to this, an arrest warrant has been issued for him, and he has been declared wanted by the EFCC in connection with a criminal charge filed against him and another company.
In a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/273, dated June 20 and filed Aug. 5 by the anti-corruption agency, Fantoli, who is said to be at large, is expected to face an eight-count money laundering charge.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria is the complainant, Resorts Express Concept Nigeria Ltd, a company, and Fantoli are 1st and 2nd defendant respectively in the suit.
Fantoli and Giovanna Beccarelli, who had also been declared wanted and an arrest warrant issued against her, are said to be directors and signatories to the company’s Guaranty Trust Bank account number: 0123849451.
Fantoli was not present in court or represented by a lawyer when the defendants were arraigned on Thursday.
Charges were read against the first defendant (the company), however, and the EFCC's lawyer informed the court of his motion ex-parte, seeking the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Fantoli in accordance with the relevant sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015 and the court's inherent power.
According to Sanga, the agency is requesting that the honourable court issue a warrant for the arrest of Corrado Fantoli, who is named in counts one through eight of the criminal charge No: FHC/ABI/CR/873/Z022 before this court, so that the respondent can be brought before this court and face trial on the aforementioned criminal charge.
In a three-point argument, the lawyer stated that the proof of evidence in support of the charge had revealed a prima facie case against Fantoli, among others.
The companies and individuals associated with the $9.6 billion P&ID fraud, including the first defendant, said in an affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by Isah Daku Suleiman, one of the EFCC's investigators assigned to the investigation of the $9.6 billion P&ID fraud.
Suleiman said that Fantoli “is part of the brains behind Process and Industrial Developments Limited and Resorts Express Concept Nigeria Limited.
“That as part of the directing minds of Resorts Express Concept Nigeria Limited, the respondent (Fantoli) should stand trial and answer to charges of infraction of extant money laundering laws and aiding the companies to breach extant criminal laws,” he said.
According to the official, it will serve the interest of justice to grant this application.
Justice Okorowo, who granted the ex-parte motion, adjourned the matter until December 2 for hearing.