Alleged N2.9bn Fraud: Judge Threatens to Arrest Suspect for Absence in Court

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Akinwale Akintunde

Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State has threatened to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of a Lagos-based businessman, Kenneth Ndubuisi Amadi, over his continuous refusal to appear in court to answer to charges of alleged N2.9 billion fraud slammed on him by the federal government.

Amadi, who had absent in court on two previous proceedings, also failed to appear before the court yesterday for arraignment over a fraud case against him.

The defendant, who was to be arraigned alongside a firm, IDID Nigeria Limited, over the alleged offence, also had no legal representations for them.

The charges against the defendants included receiving and obtaining by false pretence with intent to defraud a sum of two billion, nine hundred million Naira (N2,900,000,000) belonging to Eunisell Limited, from A-Z Petroleum Limited and AMMASCO International Limited; omitting making full and true entry thereof in the books and accounts; suppression of data in respect of the financial transfer to Eunisell; and converting same amount without authority to create sufficient deposits to promote the credibility of his own company (IDID Nigeria Limited).

According to the prosecution, the offences are contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, CapA6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.

Addressing the court on Amadi’s continuous refusal to appear in court, counsel to the federal government, Aderonke Imana, expressed her displeasure at the development coming from the silk who incidentally was the one that picked date for his client’s arraignment.

The lawyer also expressed worry at the continuous absence of Amadi and consequently urged the court to compel his appearance.

Imana also prayed the court to award a fine of N150,000 against the defendants in her favour as compensation for all her stress in coming down from Abuja to attend the case.

After listening to the submissions of the lawyer, Justice Liman threatened to issue a bench warrant against Amadi if he fails to show up in court on March 4 for his arraignment over the alleged offence.

The judge also awarded N50,000 cost against the defendants in favour of the prosecution’s lawyer.