N15m Fraud Trial: Judge Warns Counsel Over Evasive Defendant
Hearing in the N15million fraud case involving one Paul Ehiemau, a suspected serial fraudster, before Justice Darius Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court, Kaduna, could not commence on Monday, October 16, 2017 after all.
Ehiemau, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Kaduna Zonal Office, on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 alongside his company, Blackrock Trading and Logistics Limited, on one count charge of fraud.
The defendant allegedly in February 2017, obtained the sum of N15million from STOJ Oil and Gas Limited (a German company) through its Country Representative, Stanley Edmond, using his company’s account domiciled in one of the new generation banks while claiming to have the capacity to process a guaranty bond through Equity Credit Capital Switzerland for financing a project.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was admitted to bail, after which the court adjourned to October 16 for the prosecution to open its case.
When the case came up for trial on Monday, Ehiemau was not in court. This prompted the judge to inquire from the defence counsel, M. A. Shariff, who couldn’t give a definite answer on the whereabouts of his client. The Judge equally demanded for the accused person’s surety, who was also conspicuously absent in court.
An apparently angry judge further demanded for the documents used in perfecting the accused person’s bail conditions from the registry, but could not also be provided.
In the circumstance, Justice Khobo ordered counsel to the defence to ensure the presence of his client in court at the next adjourned date or risk serious sanction.
“The defence (Shariff) should write an undertaking to produce the accused person at the next adjourned date or else the lawyer’s “wig and gown will shake”, the judge warned.
Thereafter, the case was adjourned to December 13, 2017 for hearing.
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