- Arrest order for Abdullahi Inde Dikko, a former comptroller-general of Customs, has been extended by the Federal High Court in Abuja
- According to the court, this is to ensure Dikko's attendance to take his plea in court after he failed to appear in court for trial on Monday, February 17
- Dikko is facing issues of alleged financial infractions which he is alleged to have committed while heading the Nigerian Customs Service
The Federal High Court Abuja has extended a bench warrant issued for the arrest and prosecution of a former comptroller-general of Customs, Abdullahi Inde Dikko, to ensure his attendance in court to take his plea.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, the spokesperson of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Hon Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu who presided over the case on the last adjourned date, being February 17, had directed the prosecution to confirm if the defendant was on admission in a London hospital as claimed by the defense counsel.
However, on Monday, March 16, when the matter came up for report of compliance with the bench warrant, ICPC prosecuting counsel, Barr. E. A. Shogunle explained that information available showed that the defendant had left Nigeria on February 15 and arrived in London through Dubai on February 19.
This is contrary to the claim by Dikko’s counsel, Solomon Akuma that the former Comptroller-General of Customs was on admission in a hospital in London as of February 17, when the bench warrant was issued.
Shogunle further explained that the prosecution could not directly confirm from the hospital without the intervention of international law enforcement agencies, like Interpol and Nigerian Immigration Services who had been contacted to assist in tracking the movement of the defendant.
The matter was, however, adjourned to Wednesday, May 6, and extended the bench warrant for the arrest of Dikko anytime he returned to Nigeria.
It will be recalled that the ICPC is prosecuting Dikko, alongside two others, Garba Makarfi and Umar Husseini, on multiple charges of defrauding a managing director of N1.1 billion.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that for agreeing to refund the sum of $8 million to the federal government, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday, November 25, 2019, stopped the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from trying Dikko.
The former comptroller-general of Customs is facing issues of alleged financial infractions which he was claimed to have committed while heading the NCS. The court, it was learnt, said the EFCC cannot prosecute Dikko because he has an agreement with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as well as the director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS) that he would refund $8 million.
In a related development, the arrest of the former comptroller general has been approved by the Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu.
The decision, according to Justice Ojukwu, was due to the fact that Dikko failed to present himself in court as promised by his lawyer, Solomon Akuma (SAN).
Although Akuma claimed that his client's absence at the court was because of his ill health, the court claimed that Dikko's address as presented by the lawyer contradicts the fact that he is presently in a hospital in London.
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