February 17, 2020

Alleged fraud: Court orders arrest of ex-Customs chief, Dikko

Alleged fraud: Court orders arrest of ex-Customs chief, Dikko

*Mr Dikko Abdullahi


Ikechukwu Nnochiri – Abuja

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS), Abdullahi Inde Dikko, following his repeated failure to show up for his fraud trial.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who gave the directive, noted that the erstwhile Customs chief had on various occasions refused to appear before the court to answer fraud charge brought against him and two others by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

She recalled that Dikko’s lawyer, Solomon Akuma, (SAN), had at the last adjourned date, agreed to ensure his availability for trial.

The judge, however, observed that rather than appearing in court as slated, the ex-Customs comptroller general filed a medical report claiming he was critically ill and on admission in London.

She said the defendant’s address quoted in the medical report contradicted his lawyer’s claim that he was hospitalised in London.

The judge consequently ordered that Dikko should be arrested and produced before the court to stand trial for alleged fraud.

Justice Ojukwu held that execution of the bench warrant should be suspended in the event that the prosecution confirms that Dikko is ill and on admission in a London hospital as claimed.

She subsequently adjourned the matter till March 16 for the arraignment of the defendants.

Other defendants in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/21/2019 are a former Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, Garba Makarfi and a lawyer, Umar Hussaini.

ICPC had alleged that Dikko and his co-defendants, induced the Managing Director of Cambial Limited, Yemi Obadeyi, to pay over N1.1 billion into the account of Capital Law Office owned by the 3rd defendant as a refundable “completion security deposit” for the purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the Customs.

The Commission alleged that Hussaini subsequently distributed the money into various other bank accounts and was rewarded with $3 million for his effort.