A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday issued an arrest warrant against former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani and his ex-aide, Sunday Anyaogu, with whom he was accused of an alleged misappropriation of N5.3bn, after they failed to appear in court.
The judge issued an arrest warrant against the Nnamani and his ex-aide for failing to appear in court after their re-arraignment was set for Monday.
Justice Chuka Obiozor discarded the defense of Nnamani’s lawyer, Mr. Abubakar Shamsudeen, that the ex-governor is currently recovering from a heart surgery he had in the United States.
The judge rejected the counsel’s request for postponement till January, despite the lawyer showing his discontent in the delay of the case which had lasted for 10 years.
The judge maintained:“ This matter was slated for re – arraignment today, and I have not found any justification for the absence of the accused before this court to take their pleas.
“There must be an end to litigation, the charge before me was filled in 2007 and it is now 10 years.
“In the peculiar circumstances of this case, and particularly in the absence of any convincing explanation on the absence of the defendants before this court today, it is hereby ordered that a bench warrant be issued against the first and second defendants as well as a summons for the sureties to show.
“Consequently, this case is adjourned until December 14 for further proceedings.”
The lawyer for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Kelvin Udozie urged the judge to issue an arrest warrant when he noticed that both Nnamani and Anyaogu were absent at their re-arraignment.
Udozie said:“I humbly apply that bench warrant be issued against the first and second defendants and their sureties.”
But the defendant’s lawyer argued against the warrant, saying his effort to get in touch with his client or family since Thursday remained futile.
“I was reliably informed that the defendant had a heart surgery last month and we wanted to get a medical report but unfortunately we could not,” Shamsudeen said.
He maintained that his client’s absence was not delibrate, disclosing that he had always been present before Justice Mohammed Yinusa, who was previously in charge of the case.