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Kwara Court Issues bench warrant against Lagos Businessman

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By Steve Oni, Ilorin

Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of a Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has issued a bench warrant of arrest against a Lagos based businessman, Alhaji Isiaka Jimoh, following his inability to appear for his trial in criminal charges instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC).

The EFCC had sometimes in the month of September 2019 arraigned Jimoh and his company, Chemtech Chemicals Limited on a two count charge of obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of one hundred and fifty five million naira.

Count one of the charge stated: “That you, Isiaka Jimoh and Chemtech Chemicals Limited between 4th and 17th July, 2017 in Ilorin, Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court with intent to defraud obtained the sum of #155,000,000.00 (one hundred and fifty five million naira) only from one Azeez Taiwo of Manabiz Ventures under the false pretence that the money represents part payment for supply of 1,000,000 litres of base oil which pretence you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1) and punishable under section 1 of the Advance Fee fraud and other fraud offences act.”

When the matter was called on Wednesday, lead counsel to the defence, Adeola Omotunde, told the Presiding Judge that ” My Lord, the matter was slated today for cross examination of the first prosecution witness, but however, the first defendant is critically ill, he was flown abroad on the 20th of December, as we speak my Lord, the first defendant is on admission.”

Omotunde urged the Court to vacate the proceedings of the day and adjourn the matter for cross examination of the witness.

Prosecuting Counsel, Christopher Mschelia, however, told Justice Oyinloye that “My Lord, the defendant has violated the bail conditions granted unto him, part of his bail condition is that he must be available for his trial, I urge this honourable Court to revoke the bail granted to him and order that the bench warrant be issued against him.”

Justice Oyinloye in a bench ruling said there was no proper notification before the Court to show why the defendant would not be present at the Wednesday proceeding.

He said: “The defendant has violated section 191 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, law of Kwara State, there was no letter informing this honourable Court about the illness of the defendant. Any person on bail is enjoying limited freedom, I see no reason why this Court should not be notified about his whereabouts.

“The bail of the defendant is hereby revoked, the EFCC is also directed to arrest and produce the defendant in court while the sureties should appear in the next adjourned date to show cause why they should not be charged for contempt of Court.”

The case has been adjourned till 5th February 2020.

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