Court Threatens Bench Warrant against Lawyer in N550 million Fraud Case

A Federal High Court sitting in Maitama Abuja has threatened to issue a bench warrant against a legal practitioner, Barrister Ferdinand Baba Isa following his failure to appear in court in a N550 million fraud case filed against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Barrister Baba Isa, who is the second defendant in the N550m corruption case, was due to be arraigned in the court on the 10th May, 2024 but failed to show up when the case was mentioned.

The presiding judge, Justice James Omotosho said the failure of the defendant to appear before the Court depicted a blatant “lack of respect for the law” and a repeat of such would attract sanctions.

Barrister Baba Isa had earlier been arrested alongside his client, Mrs. Roseline Uche Egbuha for allegedly conniving to illegally lift restrictions on an account being investigated by ICPC.

The sum of N550 million discovered in a Guaranty Trust Bank account belonging to Mrs Egbuha had been placed under a ‘Post No Debit’ (PND) order pending investigations.

The Commission, however, found out that the full sum was transferred to an account named ‘FBI legal’ owned by Mr. Ferdinand Baba Isa on the 4th of June, 2020 with the lawyer claiming that an out of court settlement with the bank in question had legalised and facilitated the transaction.

The counsel representing the second defendant, Barrister N.I Usman failed to give any cogent reason to justify his client’s absence.

Counsel to the ICPC, Barrister Kemi Odogun thereafter moved for an adjournment due to the absence of the defendant.

After listening to the argument of both counsels, Justice Omotosho threatened to issue a bench warrant against the defendant, not minding his profession and standing in the society.

The matter was adjourned till the 11th of June, 2024 where all parties are expected to make an appearance.