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Court threatens to arrest bizman over absence in N2.9b fraud case


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Justice Mohammed Lima of Federal High Court, Lagos, has threatened to issued bench warrant against Lagos-based businessman, Kenneth Amadi, and his company, Idid Nigeria Limited, for his absence to take his plea in N2.9 billion suit against him.

The judge said he would issue bench warrant if the defendant failed to appear in court to take his plea on the next adjourned date of March 4, 2020, following the application filed by the prosecution.

When the case was called yesterday, the prosecution counsel, Mrs Aderonke Imona, informed the court of two applications; the first premised on the provision of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) while the second was praying the court to award cost against the defendant.She said, “Defendant lawyer sent a letter that he would be absent in court and not the defendant. We have been coming to court since last year. This is the fourth time we are coming to court for the matter, but the defendant has not for once present.

“We believe the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is not the only counsel in his chambers; if he is not available, he can send another lawyer from the chamber. The letter did not state that the defendant would not be in court. I pray the court to compel the defendant to comply with the provision of Section 396(6) of ACJA.

“I flew in from Abuja all the time this case is coming up. Am from the office of the Attorney-General.”After her submission, Justice Liman threatened to issue bench warrant on the defendant, if failed to appear to take his plea on the next adjourned date.

The Federal Government through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) had filed a five-count charge against Amadi and Idid for allegedly obtaining N2.9 billion by false pretence from a petroleum company.

The offences are contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-related Offences Act, Cap A6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

They are also contrary to Section 435 of the Criminal Code Cap C38 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under same Act.The scheduled arraignment was earlier fixed for November 28, 2019 and later January 8, but following the absence of the defendants, the court adjourned till January 28, 2020.

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