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Judge orders arrest of businessman over N155m fraud

Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 issued a bench warrant against a Lagos-based businessman, Alhaji Isiaka Jimoh following his inability to appear and answer to criminal charges instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC had in September 2019 arraigned Jimoh and his company, Chemtech Chemicals Limited on a two-count charge of obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of N155million (One Hundred and Fifty-five Million Naira).

Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Isiaka Jimoh and Chemtech Chemicals Limited between 4th -17th July, 2017 in Ilorin, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N155,000,000.00 ( One Hundred and Fifty-five Million Naira) only from one Azeez Taiwo of Manabiz Ventures under the false pretence that the money represents part payment for supply of 1,000,000 litres of base oil which pretence you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) and punishable under Section 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act.”

At today’s resumed sitting, lead defence counsel, Adeola Omotunde, urged the court to vacate the proceeding of the day and adjourn the cross-examination of the prosecution witness, which was the matter for the day as the first defendant was critically ill and flown abroad on December 20, 2019.

Prosecuting counsel, Christopher Mschelia, however argued that the defendant has violated an aspect of his bail conditions, which stipulated that he must be available for trial, and urged the court to revoke the bail and issue a bench warrant against him.

Justice Oyinloye, in granting the application of the prosecution noted that there was no proper notification before the court to show why the defendant would not be present in court for the day’s proceedings.

“The defendant has violated Section 191 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, Law of Kwara State. There was no letter informing this honourable court about the illness of the defendant. Any person on bail is enjoying limited freedom. I see no reason why this court should not be notified about his whereabouts.

“The bail of the defendant is hereby revoked. The EFCC is also directed to arrest and produce the defendant in court while the sureties should appear in the next adjourned date to show cause why they should not be charged for contempt of court.”

The case was been adjourned until February 5, 2020.

Dele Fashomi
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.