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Court Orders Arrest Of Investigator Over Absence In Court

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Federal High Court In Abuja Orders Arrest Of Private Investigator

Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the self -acclaimed United Kingdom based private investigator, Victor Uwajeh, who is facing criminal charges before the court.

Uwajeh was guilty of failure to appear in court for four consecutive times for his arraignment on the criminal charges preferred against him by the federal government.

The judge who did not spear Uwajeh's lawyers, referred two of them (Edward Omarga and Amushi Nnamani-Nwankwo) to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, (LPDC) of the Nigeria Bar Association, (NBA) for sanction over their conduct in the matter which according to the court is unbecoming as legal practitioners.

Uwajeh is facing a four-count criminal charge bordering on forgery, impersonation, fraud and illegally procuring forged documents.

Uwajeh was said to have been indicted by an investigation of a crack team from the Nigerian Police Force conducted on a petition that was written to the Inspector General of Police, IG, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.

In the petition, Uwajeh was accused of attempting to use forged and illegally procured documents to extort money from members of the public.

The accused had also escaped several attempts to be served by the court bailiff prompting the court decision to issue a bench warrant against him.

Meanwhile, the judge while delivering his ruling on an application by the prosecution to issue a bench warrant against Uwajeh, held that since the defendant was aware of the Criminal charges pending against him through the filing of his bail application by his lawyer, his refusal to appear before the court constituted an affront to the authority of the court.

Tsoho said, Omarga and Nwankwo had appeared in the matter in the previous proceedings only for a new lawyer to purportedly appear in the matter at yesterday's sitting on behalf of Uwajeh with a request that raised questions.

He held that section 348(8) of the ACJA compels lawyers in a matter to give a three days' notice prior from withdrawing from a suit but there was no such notice from Uwajeh's lawyer.

In ordering for his arrest, Justice Tsoho held that, "the defendant has still not shown up in court. This constitute an affront by the defendant to the authority of this court and renders him liable to an order of arrest pursuant to Section 83(1)(b) 131 and 352(1)(a)of the ACJA,2015.

"Accordingly bench warrant is issued against the defendant in this charge to compel his appearance before this court for trial.

In a similar vein, the court held "in view of the inglorious attitude of messrs Amushi Nnamani -Nwankwo and Edward Omarga, I hereby refer them to the Legal practitioners and Disciplinary committee of the Nigeria Bar Association for sanction if their conduct is truly found wanting as legal practitioners".

The suit has been adjourned to July 4, for the arraignment of the defendant.

The Independent reports that Special Presidential Investigations Panel for the Recovery of Public Property headed by Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, had sacked Uwajeh from his job as a special investigator following the accused's case which is still pending in court.

Source: Naija News

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