Customs Chief Dikko is wanted for 1.1b fraud. An arrest warrant has been released by the Federal High Court, Abuja for Abdullahi Inde Dikko,Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
This was due to his absence in court to attend to the fraud charges laid up against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). Hence, Dikko’s arrest by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu yesterday.
According to her, Dikko’s lawyer, Solomon Akuma (SAN), had promised the court that he will ensure Dikko appeared in court yesterday, yet the only thing that appeared was a medical report maintaining his client was medically down and in London for treatment.
Justice Ijeoma instructed the prosecution to detain and make certain Dikko was in court on the 16 March 2020, being the next date for his case.“Today, the first defendant is absent in court and the learned senior counsel has informed the court that, based on medical advice, the physician of the first defendant is not supportive of his plane travel.Meanwhile, senior counsel has now informed the court that the first defendant is in London. The deponent in the affidavit of facts relied on averred that she had a telephone conversation with the said physician.The learned prosecuting counsel applied for a bench warrant and drew the attention of the court to the proceedings of December 10, 2019 and the address on Exhibit NM1 (the medical report tendered by Akuma), which showed the address of the first defendant as 6 Ahmed Musa Crescent, Jabi, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria.Indeed, if the first defendant was in London, I believe that his address would have reflected that he is on admission in a hospital in London.In order to balance its position, the court is of the view that bench warrant be issued for the arrest of the first defendant for his production before the court.Where in the execution of the bench warrant the prosecutor or arresting authority finds that the first defendant is in a hospital in London and the nature of his ill health does not permit such journey, if any, then the bench warrant shall abate.Meanwhile, bench warrant is hereby issued for the arrest of the 1st in this he shall be produced before this court on the execution of the bench warrant in order to stand trial.”
Dikko is named, with two others – a former Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, Garba Makarfi in the fraud charge and a lawyer as well as owner of Capital Law firm, Umar Hussaini – as defendants.
The exact charge are 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 NCS. Dikko, Hussaini and Makarfi are the accused.
It was said the Hussaini distributed the money into various bank accounts and for his part in the deal, he was rewarded with $3 million.
Solomon Akuma (SAN), who led Mahmud Magaji (SAN) and others, told the court that his client was unable to attend proceedings. He informed the court that his client paid the N300,000 cost awarded against him for wasting the court’s time when he was absent on December 10, 2019 (the last adjourned date). He also informed the court of the application filed for his client on February 13, 2020, which he termed “affidavit of fact” to which a medical report was attached.