Court Orders Arrest of Severely Sick Nnamani

5
3621

Davidson Iriekpen

Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Lagos Monday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a former governor of Enugu State, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, for refusing to appear in court for his re-arraignment.

Nnamani, who was governor between 1999 and 2007, is facing a 10-count charge of laundering N5.3 billion instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The judge also ordered the arrest of Nnamani’s aide and co-accused, Sunday Anyaogu.
Justice Obiozor, who was livid, said: “There is no evidence shown to the court as to why the defendants are absent, there is no justification for the continued absence of the defendants.
“In the absence of any convincing evidence, it is hereby ordered that a bench warrant be issued against the defendants and summons to their sureties to show cause.”

He adjourned till December 14 for the re-arraignment of the defendants.
Both defendants were first arraigned in 2007 alongside their companies – Rainbownet (Nig) Ltd, Hillgate (Nig) Ltd; Cosmo FM, Capital City Automobile (Nig) Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital, and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.

In 2015, all the companies pleaded guilty to the charges but the trial of Nnamani and Anyaogu has been stalled due to the former governor’s frequent trips abroad to treat a heart ailment.
On Monday, Justice Obiozor, the fourth judge to handle the matter, made it clear to the defence lawyer that he would not tolerate any attempt to further delay the trial.

The visibly angry judge said: “It is not a case of more haste, less speed. The defendant may not be guilty but the matter must be heard in court.
“After 10 years, we are still talking about arraignment and re-arraignment and tomorrow we’ll see the headline that the judiciary is to be blamed.”

Earlier, Shamsudeen Abubakar, counsel to Nnamani, told the court that his client, who is “severely sick”, had just undergone heart surgery in the United States and was still recuperating in hospital.
“We received the hearing notice to appear before you in respect of this matter just last Thursday,” Mr. Abubakar, a lawyer from the Ricky Tarfa Chambers, informed the judge.

“Unfortunately, the first defendant (Nnamani) is bedridden in a hospital in America. When this matter came up on November 30, we tried to reach out to the family.
“I was reliably informed that the defendant had heart surgery and we wanted to get a medical report but unfortunately we could not.”

Abubakar said his client had regularly attended his trial and that the absence was not a deliberate act.
Asked by the judge why Nnamani stopped attending trial since 2015 when his surgery was only last month, the defence lawyer said it was the period the said companies had pled guilty to the charges.

“The first and second defendants are appearing in this case in their personal capacities and have nothing to do with the companies’ guilty plea,” the judge said.
“I’m not for or against anybody. You tried to reach the family of the first defendant and could not but you were aware he went to surgery,” he added.

Kelvin Uzozie, counsel to the EFCC informed the court that the photographic evidence by the defence lawyer to prove Nnamani’s recuperation in a US hospital had been in circulation since 2014.
“I don’t need to tell the defence lawyer what to do, the (defendants’) sureties are supposed to be here to show cause as to why the defendants are not here.”

Editor’s Note: THISDAY check reveals that Nnamani had a major heart bypass and he is recuperating in the USA.

  • Look at them, is there any glory left in Nigeria judiciary? Why didn’t you people order his arrest when he was hale and hearty? May be is a joke sha, because that has been the level of our judiciary these days.

    https://www.eaglesnewsmedia.com/2017/12/exclusive-bobrisky-plots-to-assassinate.html?m=1

  • chyke

    If these guys are kept in detention whilst their cases are going on in court, I can assure you that the court cases will all be dispensed within 4 weeks. This is 10 years now since this case came to court, can we take a look at other countries. Our judiciary and the Judges are all a joke. Look at Ibori’s case in the UK and how it was prosecuted.

  • Jon West

    The nephrologist who corruptly bought 157 houses in his 8years as Governor, but could not improve haealthcare enough to treat his kidney and heart disease in Nigeria, is the poster boy of the trouble with Nigeria and Africa. An inability to think beyond the opamine effect of instant gratification an unearned wealth, by the elite of the backwards soceities of Africa. Get well soon like the Dullard from Daura, so that we can disgrace you by sending you to your demise in prison, like we will send the Dullard home to Daura in 2019 to live off his stem-cell powered existence.

    • American Abroad

      I think I read somewhere that he was a gynecologist not a nephrologist. But even then, if he indeed bought 157 houses as a governor, that does sound somewhat pathological, wouldn’t you think?

  • D-A-N-G-O-T-E-C-E-M-E-N-T

    BUY DANGOTE3XCEMENT
    NOW FOR #1400 A BAG FROM THE FACTORY
    AND #300 TO TRANSPORT A BAG,
    NOTE CUSTOMER CAN ONLY GET FROM 100BAGS,
    TRUCK OF 600BAGS,
    TRUCK OF 900BAGS AND ABOVE.
    CONTACT MR OJEKERE ON (080-3834-8596)OR MRS GRACE ON(080-6331-2745) FOR INQUIRY.