…Judge Issues Bench Warrant
The police again, today, failed to produce four suspects named in the N313.2 million fraud allegedly perpetrated by a 10-man gang, whose arraignment are pending before a Federal High Court, Lagos.
The development, consequently forced the trial judge, Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari, to issue bench warrant against four of the suspects and their sureties.
Those named in the charge marked FHC/L/327c/17, are: Akala Anthony, 49: Umar Ali, 61: Saidi Oke, 43: Bashir Mohammed, 44: Dr. Chukwuemeka Anyanwu Anyanwu, 50: Agboola Rasheed Gbade, 67: Nkechi Nwafor, 43: and Larry Balogun Otunba, 51.
While the two firms are: Grantland Investment Nigeria Limited and Abroad Development Foundation.
However, among the 10 suspects, only four namely :Akala Anthony, Umar Ali, Saidi Oke, Bashir Mohammed, were brought to court by the police on Tuesday, while Dr. Chukwuemeka Anyanwu Anyanwu: Agboola Rasheed Gbade, Nkechi Nwafor: and Larry Balogun Otunba, we’re said to have jumped bail.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, the prosecutor, Maroof Animashaun, applied to the court for bench warrant against the fifth, sixth, seventh and eight defendants.
Animashaun told the court that all suspects have been served with the charge and duly informed of their arraignment.
He said the bench warrant application against the four suspects is pursuant to section 113 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. While he cited section 114 of the same Act against the sureties.
The presiding judge, Justice Rabiu-Shagari, while iissuing bench warrant against the four suspects, ordered the prosecution to separate the charge, so that the plea of the first to fourth defendants who have been in police custody for over four months could be taken.
The judge ordered the separation of the charge, following an application made to the court by their lawyers, Akeem Balogun and Bala Usman.
Consequently, the judge adjourned the matter till Friday, for the arraignment of the first to fourth defendants.
In the charge, the police alleged that all the defendants and others now at large, had on June 15, 2017, at Lekki, Lagos, conspired among themselves and fraudulently obtained the sums of N313.200 million from one Austin Albert, under the pretence of assisting him to buy $1 million.
The offences according police are contrary to sections 8(b) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.