An Abuja Federal High Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdullahi Dikko.
The order by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on Monday, followed Dikko’s failure to attend court to answer to a charge of fraud preferred against him and two others by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).
Dikko in the case “FHC/ABJ/CR/21/2019,” is named with two others – 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 – as defendants.
The three are, among 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 purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Hussaini was said to have distributed the money into various other bank accounts and for his part in the deal, he was rewarded with the sum of $3 million.
Justice Ojukwu, while making the order for Dikko’s arrest noted that his lawyer, Solomon Akuma (SAN) who, on the last adjourned date, undertook to ensure that his client attend court today, only turned around to present a medical report, claiming Dikko was critically ill and on admission in London.
She noted that Dikko’s address, as shown on the medical report – No: N6 Amhed Musa Crescent Jabi, Abuja – did not support his lawyer’s claim that Dikko was on admission in a London hospital.
However, she noted that should the prosecution, in executing the bench warrant discover that Dikko is actually on admission in a London hospital, the execution shall be suspended.
Ojukwu added that if the contrary is the case, the prosecution should arrest Dikko and produce him in court on the next adjourned date.
She subsequently fixed March 16, 2020 for arraignment.