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Court Threatens To Order Arrest Of Surety Over Briton’s Disappearance

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Justice Modupe Nicol-Clay of the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere on Monday threatened to order the arrest of a surety, Nurudeen Ekundayo if he refuses to appear in court to explain his failure to produce a British man, Syed Mohammed Kamran, facing N10,320,000 fraud charge.

Justice Nicol-Clay, who made the threat after Ekundayo failed to attend court, also renewed an order she gave on January 21 directing him to either produce Kamran or forfeit his bail bond or be ready to serve a jail term.

The British was arraigned before Magistrate Abimbola Komolafe of a Lagos State Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Ogba area of the state by the police in 2015 for allegedly defrauding 11 Nigerians of about N120 million.

He allegedly obtained supplies of diesel but failed to pay for the products.

He pleaded not guilty.

The Briton spent several months in Kirikiri Prison custody following his failure to meet bail.

But soon after he met his bail bond and allegedly absconded.

According to the prosecution,  Kamran, who relocated to Nigeria from Essex, United Kingdom, was later re-arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command, at the Murtala Muhammed Internation­al Airport en route the UK.

He was then re-arraigned before Justice Nicol-Clay in 2016 on a two-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining the sum of N10,320,000 by false pretence from a traditional ruler in Imo State, H.H Ubochi C. Ubochi.

The prosecution said the defendant committed the fraud through “an elaborate diesel Local Purchase Order (LPO) scam.”

Kamran pleaded not guilty, following which he was again granted bail.

But soon after he fulfilled his bail bond, Kamran refused to attend court, the development prompted the judge to summon Ekundayo to show cause.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, the Lagos State prosecutor, Mrs. Bisayo Apata urged the court to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the surety for failing to obey the court’s summons.

She said, “The defendant in the main case is a foreigner who was granted bail and ever since absconded, jumped bail. We have information that he has gone abroad.

“The surety was brought to explain the defendant’s absence. The court directed him to produce the defendant. He isn’t here; there is no letter before the court. Instead, he sent his son.

‘’I see it as a sign of disrespect to the court. The complainant is always here, he’s a traditional ruler and he has to travel from the East each time the matter comes up. So, I see no reason why the surety cannot be here,” the prosecutor argued.

This application was, however, opposed to by Ekundayo’s counsel, Mrs O. Adeniyi, who pleaded for more time for her client to appear in court, because he is gravely ill.

She further told the court that, “This matter escalated the surety’s blood pressure. He and the foreigner met in a club and became good friends.”

The lawyer also tendered a medical report from a general hospital on her client’s behalf.

In a bench ruling, Justice Nicol-Clay held, “He has three options: produce the defendant, forfeit his bail bond or be ready to serve his time. The medical report says he is hypertensive. That shouldn’t stop him from appearing.”

The judge then adjourned the matter to June 24 to enable the surety appear in court

 

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