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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has directed that criminal summons be issued on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and his company, Capital Oil and Gas Limited in Charge No. FHC/L/383C/2019 pending before Justice Oweibo.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria commenced criminal prosecution against Senator Ifeanyi Ubah in an 8-count charge on account of his indebtedness to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria sometimes in 2019 which includes conspiracy in making false claims in relation to the actual values of certain assets transferred to AMCON under a consent judgment obtained in 2012 contrary to Section 54(1) of the AMCON Act.
In the proceedings that came up on 13th June, 2023, the prosecutor, Mr. Tunde Lawal of the law firm of Kunle Adegoke SAN & Co informed the Court that the Defendants had been served with the amended charge and hearing notice of today’s date.
He also told the Court that at the last adjourned date, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah was not in Court and hearing notice of that date was also served on him.
On that basis, he sought issuance of bench warrant against him.
The Counsel to the Defendants, Mrs Ifeoma Esom, informed the Court that the matter was for report of settlement/plea and that they were just informed this morning that settlement had failed and it was on the basis of settlement that the 1st Defendant was not in Court.
The prosecutor objected on the ground that settlement cannot be reported on this matter as it is a criminal matter, parties may choose to settle outside the Court but cannot make that part of the business of a criminal court and the best that can happen is plea bargain while also noting that settlement outside court does not give the 1st Defendant, Senator Ubah, the authority to be absent from Court.
The Court then declined to issue a bench warrant but ordered that summons be served on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah through his counsel, to appear in Court on the next date.
The Court also stated that at the next adjourned date, if Senator Ubah fails to appear in Court, a warrant will be issued for his arrest.
The Court then adjourned the matter to 18th October 2023 for arraignment.