Federal High Court Threatens Bench Warrant in N550m Fraud Case Against Lawyer

In a recent development at the Federal High Court in Maitama Abuja, Barrister Ferdinand Baba Isa faces the prospect of a bench warrant following his absence in court for a N550 million fraud case brought against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

A press statement from the Director of Public Enlightenment and Education/ Spokesperson for the Commission, Demola Bakare, revealed the information and was acquired by Africa Health Report (AHR),on Wednesday.

The presiding judge, Justice James Omotosho, emphasized the gravity of the defendant’s failure to appear, stating it exhibited a blatant “lack of respect for the law” and warned of sanctions for any further absences.

Barrister Baba Isa, the second defendant in the case, was scheduled for arraignment on May 10, 2024, but failed to attend. This case stems from allegations of collusion with his client, Mrs. Roseline Uche Egbuha, to unlawfully remove restrictions on an account under ICPC investigation.

ICPC discovered that N550 million, initially under a ‘Post No Debit’ order, was transferred to an account named ‘FBI legal’ owned by Mr. Ferdinand Baba Isa, purportedly through an out-of-court settlement with the bank. However, ICPC maintains that the transaction was illegal.

Despite the absence of the defendant’s counsel, Barrister N.I Usman, the ICPC’s counsel, Barrister Kemi Odogun, sought an adjournment due to the defendant’s non-appearance.

Justice Omotosho, unyielding to the defendant’s professional status, warned of a potential bench warrant against Barrister Baba Isa. The court adjourned the case to June 11, 2024, expecting all parties to be present.

He highlighted the court’s stance on the matter. He reiterated the commission’s commitment to ensuring accountability and transparency in the fight against corruption.

“The failure of the defendant to appear before the Court depicted a blatant lack of respect for the law and a repeat of such would attract sanctions,” said Justice Omotosho.

 

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