Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja this morning issued a bench warrant for the arrest of former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdullahi Dikko.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) dragged the former Customs boss before the court on allegations of fraud carried out while he was in office.
ICPC in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/21/2019, alleged that Dikko and others induced 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 purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the Nigeria Customs Service. Others named in the charge as defendants are a former Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, Garba Makarfi; and Umar Hussaini, a lawyer and owner of Capital Law firm.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu issued the warrant over Mr. Dikko’s continued failure to attend court proceedings to answer to a charge of fraud brought against him and two others by the ICPC.
Dikko’s lawyer, Solomon Akuma, on the last adjourned date, promised to ensure his client’s presence in court.
However at the resumed hearing today, Mr Akuma presented a medical report claiming Dikko was critically ill and hospitalized in London.
Justice Ojukwu noted that Dikko’s address, as shown on the medical report, 6, Amhed Musa Crescent Jabi, Abuja, did not support his lawyer’s claim that he was admitted in a London hospital.
The judge said that if Dikko was actually hospitalized in London, the prosecution should suspend effecting the arrest warrant, but if found to be otherwise, the prosecution should arrest Dikko and produce him in court on March 16th, 2020, the next adjourned date for arraignment.