You’re not severe within the trial of ex-Customs boss, Dikko, courtroom tells ICPC

Agency Reporter

A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, frowned on the method the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) was prosecuting the trial of former Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdullahi Dikko, on the alleged corruption costs.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu advised the ICPC counsel, Ebenezer Shogunle, that the fee was not severe within the dealing with of the matter.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reviews that Ojukwu had, on Feb. 17, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the previous NCS boss over his continued failure to seem in courtroom in respect of the case instituted in opposition to him and two others.

The growth adopted the shortcoming of Solomon Akuma, counsel to Dikko, to supply his consumer in courtroom regardless of endeavor to make sure that he appeared for his trial within the final adjourned date, solely to current a medical report, claiming that Dikko was critically ailing and on admission in London.

The choose, nonetheless, famous that ought to the prosecution, in executing the bench warrant uncover that Dikko was truly on admission in a London hospital, “the execution shall be suspended.”

She held that if in any other case, the prosecution ought to arrest Dikko and produce him in courtroom on March 16 which was the following adjourned date for arraignment.

NAN reviews that Dikko, alongside aspect Garba Makarfi, a former NCS Assistant Comptroller-General in control of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, and Umar Hussaini, a lawyer and proprietor of Capital Law agency have been defendants within the case.

Dikko, Makarfi and Hussaini have been, amongst others, accused of inducing the Managing Director of Cambial Limited, Yemi Obadeyi, to pay N1.1 billion (N1,100, 952,380.96) into the account of Capital Law Office as a refundable “completion security deposit” for the acquisition of 120 items of duplexes as residential lodging for NCS officers.

Hussaini was mentioned to have distributed the cash into numerous different financial institution accounts and for his half within the deal, he was rewarded with the sum of three million {dollars}.

However, on the arraignment on Monday, solely Makarfi and Hussaini have been on the dock with their counsel, Wilson Okion and Amaobi Nzelu respectively.

Though Dikko didn’t seem in courtroom, his lawyer, Akuma, was in courtroom.

Counsel to ICPC, Shogunle, reminded that on the final adjourned date, the courtroom issued a bench warrant in opposition to Dikko (1st defendant) and directed that the prosecution ought to confirm his location.

“My lord, we confirmed that the first defendant left Nigeria on Feb. 14, three days before the sitting of this honourable court and his destination was Dubai.
“Currently, the first defendant is reported to be in London,” he mentioned.

Shogunle mentioned within the circumstances, “we will be applying that the lordship extend the duration of the bench warrant such that any time he returns to Nigeria, the warrant will be executed and he will be prosecuted in court.”

He urged the courtroom to adjourn the trial, pending Dikko’s return to the nation.

READ ALSO: OAuGF, ICPC sign MoU to curb revenue losses in MDAs

Justice Ojukwu, nonetheless, turned down Shogunle’s request, saying “I am not going to adjourn this natter for this reason.”
According to her, my responsibility is to not preserve a cost that has no timeline in my docket.

“If you don’t need to go on with this matter, I’ll strike out this cost.

“Whenever you are ready to produce the first defendant (Dikko), then you re-arraign him,” she mentioned.

But the prosecution counsel advised the choose that he was decided to comply with up the matter going by his presence in courtroom.
He additional prayed the courtroom to not strike out his utility, including that the International Police (Interpol) had already been contacted over Dikko.

“We had sought the help of the Interpol however the purpose they gave was that they wanted legitimate costs in opposition to him.

“My lord, we ask for a new date, and if we are unable to present the first defendant, then you can strike it out,” he added.
Justice Ojukwu then requested Shogunle to offer the proof of his declare about Interpol, however the prosecution mentioned he was not with it.
“I can only work with evidence,” the choose responded.

Ojukwu, subsequently, mentioned that what she needed was for Shogunle to confirm from the hospital the place Dikko claimed to be receiving medical consideration based mostly on the final ruling and never developing with INTERPOL’s report.

The lawyer, nonetheless, advised the courtroom that Dikko was in Nigeria when the ruling on the bench warrant was given.

Ojukwu additional requested him to offer the proof that Dikko was within the nation when she gave the ruling, however the counsel mentioned he was not with it in courtroom.

The prosecution counsel then advised the choose to provide him one week to both produce his proof or withdraw the cost.
But Dikko’s lawyer, Akuma, objected and advised the choose to dismiss his plea on the grounds that the prosecution had disobeyed the directive of the courtroom.

“At least, the prosecution has confirmed that the primary defendant was in London, however he has not confirmed whether or not he’s on the hospital.

“The prosecution has failed to do a thorough investigation as per the earlier ruling you gave,” he mentioned.
Akuma additionally mentioned that the problem of Interpol was unusual to him.

“In a nutshell, we object to the extension of the bench warrant,” he mentioned.

The choose requested Akuma if he knew when Dikko could be out there for arraignment, however he mentioned he couldn’t give a date besides when he discovered from Dikko’s doctor relating to the state of his well being.

Akuma advised the courtroom that if the prosecution couldn’t examine the veracity of the medical report of his consumer inside one week, he ought to withdraw the cost and permit them to maneuver their movement.

According to him, our movement dated 29 November, 2019, is praying the courtroom to put aside ICPC’s cost or strike it out.
He mentioned the prosecution had additionally responded by means of counter affidavit.

Ojukwu then requested the prosecution if he had utilized for the bench warrant she earlier issued in opposition to Dikko and Shogunle mentioned he utilized by means of the courtroom registry however was not in courtroom with the copy.

“I don’t think you are serious. I have endorsed your warrant but you have never come for it,” the choose advised Shogunle.
The choose then adjourned until May 6 for listening to of the functions filed by each events.


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *