Kanu Won’t Appear In Court On October 4 – Lawyer

A file photo of Nnamdi Kanu.

 

The leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, won’t be in court on Tuesday, October 4, 2022.

Kanu’s lead counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday, saying the Federal High Court Umuahia, Abia State, will hear the case involving the IPOB leader.

As a result, the lawyer asked the public to disregard any sit-at-home order, saying Kanu did not approve of it.

READ ALSO: Kanu’s Lawyer Expects Justice As Court Hears Case Oct 4

Noting that residents of the South-East should go about their normal business activities on Tuesday, Ejiofor said the public would be properly informed when Kanu is scheduled to appear in court.

“Let the members of the general public be properly informed and appropriately guided, that we have the firm instruction of Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to inform the public, lovers of freedom, that Nnamdi Kanu will not be coming to Court on the 4th day of October 2022,” the statement read.

“As such, Onyendu neither directed, approved nor authorized anyone to declare a sit-at-home on that date.

“Members of the general public are advised to go about their normal business activities on this said date.”

Kanu’s Lawyer Expects Justice As Court Hears Case Oct 4

A file photo of Nnamdi Kanu.

 

The Federal High Court, Umuahia, will hear the case involving the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, on October 4.

Kanu’s lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, saying Kanu’s extraordinary rendition suit was filed before the court in March.

In the statement, Ejimakor faulted the extradition of Kanu from Kenya, saying it violates “fundamental rights under Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, as well as Chapter IV of the Nigerian Constitution”.

READ ALSO: Nnamdi Kanu’s Lawyer Demands IPOB Leader’s Release On Health Grounds

He stated that the “suit is sui generis (of a special class) and it is primarily aimed at redressing the infamous unlawful expulsion or extraordinary rendition of Nnamdi Kanu.

Kanu was re-arrested on June 25, 2021, re-arrested and brought back to Nigeria from Kenya to face his trial. Kanu and his co-defendant are facing treasonable felony charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

He has been in the custody of the Department of State Services for 15 months.

See the full statement below:

RE: Court to hear Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s extraordinary rendition case on 4th October

On 4th October 2022, the Federal High Court, Umuahia will hear Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s extraordinary rendition suit which I had filed before the court in March this year.

The Suit is sui generis (of a special class) and it is primarily aimed at redressing the infamous unlawful expulsion or extraordinary rendition of Nnamdi Kanu, which is a clear violation of his fundamental rights under Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, as well as Chapter IV of the Nigerian Constitution.

In addition to the rendition, I am asking the Court to redress the myriad violations that came with the rendition, such as the torture, the unlawful detention and the denial of the right to fair hearing which is required by law before anybody can be expelled from one country to the other. I am also seeking to halt his prosecution and restore him to the status quo before he was rendition on 19th June 2021.

You will recall that on 19th January 2022, the High Court of Abia State decided that portion of violation of Kanu’s fundamental rights that occurred in 2017. Even as I had made claims that bordered on rendition, the Court declined jurisdiction on grounds that rendition, being related to extradition, lies within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court. This is what informed my decision to initiate the suit before the Federal High Court.

To be sure, the extraordinary rendition of Nnamdi Kanu triggered myriad legal questions that cut across multiple jurisdictions in Nigeria and even triggered the international legal order, to boot. In other words, the rendition has expanded the matter of Kanu far beyond the realms of the Abuja trial and opened up new legal frontiers that must be ventilated to the hilt before other courts and tribunals within and without Nigeria.

Thus, this very case before the Federal High Court, Umuahia is one of such that is aimed at seeking a definitive judicial pronouncement on the constitutionality of the extraordinary rendition. The ones in the United Kingdom, Kenya, African Union and the United Nations are in addition.

I would like to seize this opportunity to express my profound appreciation to the highly competent and hardworking team of lawyers that I am leading in the prosecution of this complex suit. Special mention must be made of Barristers Patrick Agazie, Ifeyinwa Nworgu, Tochukwu Arugbuonye, Franklin Amandi, Ohaeto Uwazie and Mandela Umegborogu.

For ease of reference and avoidance of any doubt, the following are the specific reliefs that I requested in the Suit:

1, A DECLARATION that the arrest of the Applicant in Kenya by the Respondents’ agents without due process of law is arbitrary, and the Respondents’ enforced disappearance of the Applicant for eight (8) days and their refusal to produce the Applicant before a Kenyan Court for the purpose of Applicant’s extradition is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right against arbitrary arrest, to his personal liberty and to fair hearing as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter.

2, A DECLARATION that the detention of the Applicant in a non-official secret facility in Kenya and the torture of the Applicant in Kenya by the Respondents’ agents is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right against unlawful detention, torture and to a fair hearing, as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter).

3, A DECLARATION that, pursuant to Article 12(4) of the Charter, the expulsion (or extraordinary rendition) of the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria by the Respondents without a decision taken in accordance with the law of Kenya is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right to a fair hearing and not to be expelled from a State Party to the Charter except by virtue of a decision taken in accordance with the law, as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter.

4, A DECLARATION that any criminal prosecution of the Applicant the purpose of which the Respondents unlawfully expelled the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right to a fair hearing, as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter.

5, AN ORDER OF INJUNCTION restraining and prohibiting the Respondents from taking any further step in any criminal prosecution of the Applicant enabled by the said unlawful expulsion of the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria.

6, AN ORDER mandating and compelling the Respondents to forthwith restitute or otherwise restore the Applicant to his liberty, same being his state of being as of 19th June 2021; and to thereupon repatriate the Applicant to his country of lawful domicile (to wit: the United Kingdom) to await the outcome of any formal request the Respondents may file before the competent authorities in Britain for the lawful extradition of the Applicant to Nigeria.

7, AN ORDER mandating and compelling the Respondents to issue an official Letter of Apology to the Applicant for the infringement of his fundamental rights; and publication of said Letter of Apology in three (3) national dailies.

8, AN ORDER mandating and compelling the Respondents to pay the sum of N25,000,000,000.00 (Twenty-Five Billion Naira) to the Applicant, being monetary damages claimed by the Applicant against the Respondents jointly and severally for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, property and other damages suffered by the Applicant as a result of the infringements of Applicant’s fundamental rights by the Respondents.

It is our humble expectation that, sooner than later, justice shall prevail for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

 

Signed:

Aloy Ejimakor, Esquire

Special Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu/IPOB

 

Court Orders Arrest Of Briton Over $9.6bn P&ID Fraud

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

The Federal High Court In Abuja on Wednesday ordered the arrest of a British national, James Nolan, for jumping bail.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, gave the order after Nolan, who is a director in the Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) failed to appear for trial.

Nolan is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) along with Lurgi Consult Limited and others,  in  a money laundering case to the tune of $9.6 billion.

In his ruling, Justice Mohammed said Nolan had broken the terms of his bail conditions offered him by the court. He, therefore, revoked the bail and issued a bench warrant  for his arrest.

He also ordered Nolan’s  surety  to appear in court on the next adjourned date,  to justify why the  bail bond  should not be  forfeited to the court.

The prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, had earlier prepared  to proceed with  the cross examination of Prosecuting Witness 1, Temitope Erinomo,   when the court was informed that the second defendant was nowhere to be found and efforts to ascertain his whereabouts  proved abortive.

Sanga expressed dismay with the absence of Nolan  in court. He also said the first defendant, Lurgi Consult Limited, has never been represented in court,  as a corporate body,  since the matter started.

He told the court that investigations by the EFCC showed that  the property given by the surety, in  Gwagwalada, Abuja,  was not worth N100m and prayed the court to restrain the defence team from further delaying the case.

Responding to the absence of Nolan in court, defence counsel, Micheal Ajara claimed that his sudden disappearance was strange.

“My  Lord, the defendant in question,  has always appeared in court,  except for the last adjourned date that he was sick. His medical report shows that he has bipolar, a history of mental illness and it is uncertain if the defendant is fine. We have notified the police, including the prosecution, and all efforts to ascertain his whereabouts  has proven abortive”, he said.

He prayed the court to grant the defence time to ascertain his whereabouts.

However, Justice Mohammed said that the court of law does not act in uncertainty.

“What is clear to the court right now,  is that the second defendant is nowhere to be found and there is no justification with certainty of his whereabouts”, he said.

The judge then granted Sanga prayers for the court to revoke the bail of the second defendant, issue a bench warrant for his arrest and and declare his the bail bond forfeited.

Bamise: Again, Absence Of BRT Driver’s Lawyer Stalls Court Hearing

A photo collage of the victim Bamise and the BRT Bus

 

The trial of Andrew Ominikoron, a BRT driver who allegedly raped and murdered Oluwabamise Ayanwole, a 22-year-old fashion designer, again failed to go on today owing to the absence of his lawyer.

The lawyer, Abayomi Omotubora, arrived at the Lagos High Court, sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square after the trial judge, Justice Sherifat Sonaike, had adjourned the hearing to Thursday owing to his absence.

READ ALSO: Court Declares Machina As APC Candidate For Yobe North

It is about the fifth time that Omotubora would be absent from the court hearing since the start of the trial.

He was absent at the court proceedings on July 30 but sent a junior counsel. He was also absent at the proceedings of June 7th and 9th.

At the last sitting of the court on July 7, where he was again absent, Justice Sonaike condemned his continuous absence. The judge described it as “appalling and unbecoming of the noble profession.”

The court also ordered the defendant to get a lawyer to defend him before adjourning till today, Sept 28.

When the journalist sought to know what happened after he arrived late to today’s proceeding, the lawyer said that he came all the way from the Ikorodu area of the state to the TBS.

On his repeated absence, the lawyer said that he also has other matters to attend to.

“This is not the only matter, I have to appear for other matters too,” he said.

Court Strikes Out Suit Against Striking Varsity Lecturers

A file photo combination of ASUU president Emmanuel Osodeke and the National Industrial Court building in Abuja.

 

The National Industrial Court Abuja has struck out a suit instituted by one Umar Lawal, asking the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its seven-month strike and return to classrooms.

Lawal, who claimed to be the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, had instituted the case on behalf of himself and the association.

Justice Polycarp Hamman, however, struck out the suit on Tuesday after the counsel for Lawal, Debo Ikuesan, withdrew the suit on the grounds that the students’ body is challenging his position as president, denying that he is the leader of NANS as he had deposed to.

Counsel for ASUU, Marshal Abubakar, also informed the court that he is not opposing the application to withdraw the suit.

READ ALSO: Nnamdi Kanu’s Lawyer Demands IPOB Leader’s Release On Health Grounds

In the suit, one Umar Faruk, who claimed to be the president of NANS, sought the court’s order mandating ASUU to call off the industrial action it commenced in February 2022.

He said the strike affects students’ right to education under section 18, Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution as amended. He added that the prolonged strike has caused damage to Nigerian students as they have lost valuable time and opportunity in their educational and career pursuits.

They are seeking an order of the court to, amongst others, order ASUU to call off its strike.

They are also seeking an order of court restraining ASUU and its members from further engaging or partaking in the industrial action they commenced.

The outgoing President of the students’ body, Sunday Asefon, had approached the court claiming that Umar Lawal does not have the mandate of NANS to commence the action.

He said Lawal had contested and lost the position of national president of NANS.

On account of the objection by NANS, counsel for Faruk sought an order to discontinue the case, a stand which the counsel for ASUU, Abubakar Marshall, did not oppose to.

Lagos Chief Judge Seeks Reconstruction Of Burnt Igbosere Court

The Igbosere High Court was burnt during the #EndSARS protest in 2020.

The Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Kazeem Alogba has appealed to the state government to prioritize the reconstruction of the burnt  Igbosere High Court.

Justice Alogba made the appeal at the Lagos Central Mosque while speaking at the thanksgiving service organized by the state judiciary to mark the commencement of the 2022/2023 New Legal Year.

The Igbosere court was burnt down in Oct 2020 following the hijack of the #EndSARS protests by hoodlums.

Justice Alogba lamented the destruction of the  Court, noting that it was a monumental edifice that must be revived.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill Police Inspector, Abduct Several Passengers In Katsina

The CJ also noted that the best way for the judiciary to continue to effectively discharge its duty is when it is devoid of state and public interference in adjudicating justice delivery.

He restated the judiciary’s commitment to continue to deliver justice without fear or favour.

The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat who celebrated with the judiciary at the thanksgiving service explained that a Trust Fund had been set up to rebuild public structures destroyed during the violent protest.

He promised that the reconstruction of the Igbosere High Court Complex will be the first to be rebuilt with the Fund.

Also speaking at the event, the Bashorun Musulumi of Lagos, Alhaji Sikiru Alabi-Macfoy asked the State Chief Judge to revive Prison visits to address overpopulation as the number of awaiting trial inmates far outnumbered convicted inmates.

He urged the Chief Judge to ensure that matters enjoyed accelerated hearing as justice delayed is justice denied.

An Islamic scholar, Dr Ishaq Sanusi who delivered a lecture at the thanksgiving service advised judges and magistrates to bring back justice to the country so as to help achieve political and economic stability.

He explained that if justice is restored in the country, inequality and insecurity would be dealt with and the economy would improve for the better.

A simultaneous thanksgiving service was also held at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina for judges, magistrates and lawyers of the Christian faith

The Bishop of the Diocese of the Lagos West, Anglican Communion, the Reverend Olusola Odedeji in his sermon encouraged the Lagos State Judiciary to uphold truth and Justice at all times.

Rev. Odedeji also urged all the judges and magistrates to use their positions and tenure in service to God and to humanity.

After the thanksgiving services, proceedings moved to the Main Arena of the Tafawa Balewa Square where the Chief Judge inspected the ceremonial guard of honour as part of activities to mark the commencement of the new legal year.

Olisa Metuh’s Money Laundering Case Not Struck Out – EFCC

In this file photo, a former PDP spokesman, Mr Olisa Metuh, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on February 25, 2020. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has denied a report that a Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out a suit of money laundering filed against Olisa Metuh, the ex-National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Channels Television had reported on Monday that an Abuja Federal High Court struck out a suit filed by the EFCC against the former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP for retrial.

The trial judge at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Justice Emeka Nwite, described the seven-count in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/05/2022 filed by the EFCC as an abuse of court process. He said it was a gross abuse of the court for the commission to have filed the same matter for retrial before him while the matter was pending before the Supreme Court.

READ ALSO: Alleged N400m Fraud: Court Strikes Out Charge Against Olisa Metuh

But the EFCC in a press statement signed by its Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, on Tuesday, said the report was “a gross misrepresentation of the status of the case.”

The anti-graft agency said Metuh’s case was before the Supreme Court and not the Federal High Court.

“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to some reports in the media, alleging that the Federal High Court, FHC, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, September 26, 2022, struck out a suit filed by the Commission against former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, for retrial. We wish to state unequivocally that there is no modicum of truth in those reports,” the statement read.

 

“Metuh’s case is presently pending before the Supreme Court, arising from the appeal by the Commission, as well as his own cross-appeal, upon the judgment of the Court of Appeal which nullified the judgment of the trial court on alleged grounds of bias.

“There is, therefore, no pending case before the Federal High Court to warrant striking out of the same.

“It bears reiterating that the EFCC has no fresh application for retrial of Metuh before the court. There can be no striking out of a suit that was not initiated or filed before the court. Any report of striking out of a suit filed by the EFCC on Metuh is a gross misrepresentation of the status of the case and the public is enjoined to ignore such reports.

“The EFCC is awaiting the judgment of the apex court, against the discharge of Metuh, by the Court of Appeal in the N400 million money laundering charges instituted against him. The Commission will do nothing to abuse processes of the court as it remains committed to total respect for the rule of law.”

FG To ASUU: Obey Court Ruling First, Negotiations Will Continue

A photo combination of ASUU president and Ngige.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has advised the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to obey the National Industrial Court (NIC) ruling and call off its ongoing nationwide strike, while negotiations are ongoing.

Ngige stated this while responding to the industrial court ruling which restrained ASUU from continuing with the strike when fielding questions from journalists in New York on Friday.

He said that the strike is detrimental to public university students who cannot afford to attend private tertiary institutions, noting that the Trade Dispute Act mandates workers not to embark on strike once an issue has been referred to the industrial court.

The minister also advised that after obedience, ASUU can then apply for an appeal if they so desire or apply for a stay of execution.

READ ALSOIndustrial Court’s Ruling Ordering ASUU To Call Off Strike (Full Details)

On Friday, ASUU filed an appeal over the ruling.  The counsel to ASUU, Mister Femi Falana, based their appeal on 14 grounds. The motion is seeking two reliefs which are:

A) The leave to file the appeal pursuant to Section 243 of the Constitution that requires the party to seek a leave of court to appeal the judgement or ruling of the National Industrial Court (NIC).

B) Seeking for a stay of execution of the orders of the court, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.

Paris Club Refund: Court Sets Aside Consent Judgement On Payment Of $47m

File photo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

 

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Abuja, Justice John Tsoho,  has set aside a consent judgement in favour of Panic Alert Security Systems Limited against the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).

Delivering the ruling on Wednesday, Justice Tsoho, held that the said consent judgement was entered without jurisdiction in its entirety.

The company is one of the beneficiaries of the payment of $418 million to consultants and is said to be for payment for professional services in the Paris Club refund to State Governments. It had relied on the consent judgement to lay claim to professional fees of over $40 million.

READ ALSO: ASUU To Appeal Court Order Directing Lecturers To Call Off Strike

Earlier, the court had restricted the Federal Government from deducting $418 million from the bank accounts of the 36 states.

The state governors had accused the Attorney-general of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, of alleged involvement in the controversial payment.

The Governors’ Forum later instructed its counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Paul Ogbole,  to challenge the consent judgment the AGF relied upon in court.

Justice Tsoho agreed with counsel to the NGF that the reliefs claimed by the company were premised on a simple contract which by section 251 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) strips the court ab initio the required jurisdiction to entertain such matters.

Accordingly, the court set aside the consent judgement.

By the ruling, all approvals by the AGF, the president, the minister of finance, the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Debt Management Office (DMO) arising from, related to, or concerning Panic Alert’s claims have been voided.

ASUU Strike: FG Lauds Court Order, Says No Victor, No Vanquished

A file photo of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
A file photo of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

 

The Federal Government has declared that nobody won or lost in the ruling of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), ordering members of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to work.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, made the declaration on Wednesday while receiving members of the Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) at his office in Abuja.

Ngige also gave an assurance that the court ruling does not preclude further negotiation between the Federal Government and ASUU.

“The ruling is in the best interest of the nation,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by a spokesperson for the ministry, Olajide Oshundun. “It is a win-win situation for all of us – government, students, lecturers – all Nigerians indeed.

“I have just gotten the order of court asking ASUU to go back to work. It is a sound judgment. It is no victor, no vanquished. You doctors in academics are for now members of ASUU, but, you are here, even though you have dissociated yourself and you are working. We want to thank you for working and teaching your students.

“The court ruling does not preclude us from going on with further negotiation and consultations. The pro-chancellors met Mr President and made some demands, such as topping up government offers and seeing whether there could be some bailout. Mr President said in considering it, he will consult stakeholders. So, he is going to consult everybody.”

Ngige welcomed the intervention of the House of Representatives in the crisis, saying he was happy that Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the lawmakers would meet with the President.

He said the intervention was timely considering that the President must have also consulted some stakeholders, adding that whatever money to be put in would go into the 2023 appropriation where the National Assembly comes in.

“If they have shown interest now, it is good and wonderful. When they bring that proposal, the Executive will not have any problem. ASUU should also know that this is a step in the right direction.

“And all these things have been promised them by the Minister of Education at their last meeting with him. For me, they should do the needful and get back to the classroom,” the minister stated.

He said the government would order the vice-chancellors to reopen the universities in compliance with the order of the court.

Sexual Assault: Court Refuses To Grant Baba Ijesha Bail Pending Appeal

A file photo of Baba Ijesha.

 

The Lagos State Special Offences Court has refused to grant bail to convicted Nollywood actor, James Olanrewaju, popularly known as Baba Ijesha.

On July 14, the court convicted and sentenced Baba Ijesha to five years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

A month after that sentence, Baba Ijesha, through his counsel approached the court for post-conviction bail, pending the determination of his appeal at the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal.

But the trial judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, on Wednesday rejected the bail application on the ground that he did not meet the exceptional circumstances and criteria necessary to warrant the bail.

She noted that the applicant must show special and exceptional circumstances because the jail term given to him was five years which would run concurrently.

“There is no evidence that the appeal has been entered and there is no indication that the court will not treat the case expeditiously,” the judge held.

“It is the view of this court that the applicant has failed to show special circumstances to warrant bail because he is facing a serious crime. In view of this, I am inclined to refuse the bail application of the applicant pending appeal.”

In making his bail application, Baba Ijesha’s counsel, Gabriel Olabiran, had informed the court that the notice for bail pending appeal was made pursuant to Section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 51 of the High Court Law of Lagos State, Administration of Criminal Justice Law.

Olabiran said the application was brought before the court owing to the difficulty in getting a hearing date at the Court of Appeal.

The State Prosecutor, Yusuf Sule, in his counter-affidavits argued that the defence failed in its application to establish the special circumstances which might grant the convict bail.

“My lord, the defence has failed woefully in addressing the special circumstances which can be used to grant the convict bail,” he said.

Justice Taiwo considered these submissions and ruled in favour of the prosecution.

Alleged N6bn Fraud: Mompha’s Trial To Continue In His Absence, Court Rules

A combination of file photos of Mompha and the EFCC logo.

 

The Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in the Ikeja area has ordered the continuation of the trial of internet celebrity and alleged fraudster, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, despite his continued absence in court.

Justice Mojisola Dada who made the order on Wednesday at the instance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) also adjourned the case until November 16 for the continuation of the trial.

She further ordered the anti-graft agency to make sure to bring its witnesses on the next adjourned date.

The court made the order following a submission by the EFCC counsel, Abbas Mohammed, that the commission had made frantic efforts to arrest Mompha without success.

He urged the court to grant the adjournment to enable the trial to continue in absentia.

“My lord, we shall be asking for another date to enable prosecution of the defendant on trial in absentia,” Mohammed said.

The defence counsel, Mr Kolawale Salami, had no objections to the EFCC’s application. He aligned with the prosecution and confirmed the position of the commission.

Mompha was arrested by the EFCC on January 10 and arraigned on January 12 alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on eight counts of alleged money laundering of over N6 billion.

In the counts, the defendants were accused of conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity, retention of such funds, transfer of funds for a suspect Olayinka Jimoh popularly known as Nappy Boy, and unlawful transfer of funds for a record label, among others.

The EFCC also alleged that Mompha concealed his interest in expensive wristwatches and other movable assets valued at over N70 million.

The offence is contrary to relevant sections of the Advance Fee Fraud Act of 2006 and the EFCC Act of 2004.

But Mompha pleaded not guilty to the eight counts. He also pleaded not guilty to the first six counts on behalf of his company, Islamob Limited.

On January 18, he was admitted to bail in the sum of N200 million with two sureties in like sum while the judge ordered that one of the sureties must own property valued at N100 million within the jurisdiction of the court.

The court also ordered the defendant to return his international passport to the custody of the court while ordering his remand in any correctional centre of his choice in Lagos, pending the perfection of the bail conditions.

On March 28, he was released to his lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Gboyega Oyewole, shortly after the court varied his bail conditions.

Since then, he has failed to appear in court on at least three scheduled dates for his trial.

On June 10, the EFCC accused him of flouting the court’s order by travelling to Dubai with a new international passport. On June 22, the court issued a bench warrant for his arrest following his continued failure to present himself for his trial.

The court also revoked the bail it granted the defendant. This is the second case in which the EFCC is charging Mompha.

He is also standing trial at the Federal High Court in Lagos on amended 22 counts bordering on cyber-fraud and money laundering to the tune of N32.9 billion.