The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, ordered the arrest of a former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu issued the bench warrant against him for his continued failure to appear in court in respect of corruption charges instituted against him and two others by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.
The judge, in issuing the arrest warrant refused to accept his lawyer’s explanation that the defendant was ill and on admission in London.
Dikko’s lawyer, Solomon Akuma (SAN), who had previously undertaken to produce him in court, only presented a medical report, in a bid to justify his absence from court on Monday.
But the judge said Akuma had on the last adjourned date, promised to produce his client in court.
She said the address on the medical report (No: N6 Ahmed Musa Crescent Jabi, Abuja) does not support his claim that his client is in a London hospital.
Ojukwu asked the prosecution to set aside the arrest warrant if they find out that Dikko is indeed in a London hospital. If not, he should be arrested and brought to court on March 16, 2020.
Dikko is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) alongside Garba Makarfi, former assistant comptroller-general of customs in charge of finance, administration and technical services, and Umar Hussaini, a lawyer.
ICPC accused Dikko of inducing one Yemi Obadeyi, an Abuja estate developer, to pay the total sum of N1,100, 952,380.96 into the account of Capital Law Office (a company belonging to Hussaini) for the purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the customs.
In 2017, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recovered 17 exotic vehicles from Dikko’s warehouse in Kaduna.
In November 2019, Nnamdi Dimgba, judge of a federal high court in Abuja ordered the EFCC to discontinue its case against the former customs comptroller-general following the non-prosecution agreement entered into by Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), and Dikko.
Dikko had reportedly returned N1.5 billion, which is alleged to be proceeds of crime, to the government.