The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday issued a bench warrant against a former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani, and his ex-aide, Sunday Anyaogu over an alleged fraud of N5.3bn.
The court presided over by Justice Chuka Obiozor gave the order on Monday after Nnamani failed to appear in court for his scheduled re-arraignment.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Obiozor said the defendant's lawyer had not given any reasonable evidence as to why his client was absent in court.
Both defendants were first arraigned in 2007 alongside their companies - Rainbownet (Nig) Ltd, Hillgate (Nig) Ltd; Cosmo FM, Capital City Automobile (Nig) Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital, and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.
Justice Obiozor who after ordering for the ex-Governor's arrest, adjourned the case till December 14th for the re-arraignment of the two defendants.
In 2015, all the companies pleaded guilty to the charges but the trial of Nnamani and Anyaogu continued to stall due to the former's frequent travels overseas to treat a heart ailment.
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"This is not a case of more haste and less speed; no, I won't allow that in my court".
When the case was mentioned on Thursday, a lawyer M. Bamidele from the law firm of Ricky Tarfa who represented the defendant told the court that his chamber was served with hearing notice six days ago, but that the time was too short for Nnamani to be in court as the defendant was not in the country and that they have not been able to get in touch with him.
"Justice, as we all know, is a three-way traffic and once it is lagging, you blame the judiciary". "When this matter came up on the 30th of November, we tried to reach out to the family".
"I humbly apply that bench warrants be issued against the first and second defendants and their sureties", Uzozie pleaded.
Opposing the argument, EFCC's lawyer, Kelvin Uzozie, alleged that the photographs brought by the lawyer as proof of his submissions was taken since 2014.
Abubakar said his client had regularly attended his trial and that the absence was not a deliberate act.