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N7.4bn fraud: Court orders arrest of Martins, Dumuje, others

By Abdulwahab ABDULAH
An Abuja High Court yesterday  issued a bench warrant against Kenny Martins and three others over the alleged misappropriation of the Police Equipment Fund.

The court presided over by Justice Mwada Balami ordered the police to produce Martins and the three others before him for them to be re-arraigned on fresh charges after they were set free by an Abuja Magistrate court.

Those expected to be produced by the police before the court alongside Martins for arraignment include Ibrahim Dumuje, Joni Icheka and Cosmos Okpara.
Already, a fresh two-count charge of conspiracy and forgery have been proferred against them.

It would be recalled that few weeks back, a Magistrate Court sitting in Abuja discharged the accused persons for lack of diligence prosecution by the police.

However, the Magistrate court did not acquit them.

The charges filed against them by the Attorney-General of the Federation through the chambers of Mr Festus Keyamo read thus:

“That you Kenny Martins, Ibrahim Dumuje, Joni Icheka ‘m’, and Cosmas OKpara ‘m’ on or about the 31st day of March, 2006 at Corporate Affairs Commission Wuse Zone 5, Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit a felony to wit: forge documents relating to Corporate Affairs Commission in a bid to fraudulently change the members of the Board of Directors of NIGERSTALG LIMITED, original partners with the Federal Government on the Police Equipment Fund and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 97(1) of the Penal Code, Cap 532 Laws of the Federation Nigerian 1990 (Abuja).

However, Mr. Keyamo, insisted that the law at present is that the accused persons must be physically present in court before any objection could be raised based on the most recent decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Anthony Alintah & 2 Ors v. F.R.N (unreported Appeal No. CA/L/194/2004) and Section 187 of the CPC.

To this end, the court upheld his argument and issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the accused persons.

The matter has been adjourned to 13th January, 2010, for their arraignment.


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