Court orders arrest of Imo Assembly’s Deputy Speaker over alleged N75m fraud

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Jabi, Abuja has issued an arrest warrant against the Deputy Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Amarachi Chyna Iwuanyanwu, over his alleged involvement in a N75million fraud.

Justice Charles Agbaza, in a ruling yesterday, directed the Commander of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) headquarters, Abuja to execute the arrest warrant so issued.

Justice Agbaza issued the order following Iwuanyanwu’s failure to appear in court to answer to the four-count charge filed against him by the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

In the charge marked: CR/230/201, Iwuanyanwu and a firm, Sungold Estate Ltd, were alleged to have defrauded Wanogan Farm Ltd to the tune of N75million by allegedly making dishonest and fraudulent claims in respect of a property known as “Heroes Place, Plot 145, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja.”

At the mention of the case yesterday, Iwuanyanwu was absent in court. But, his lawyer, Nabal Ominigbo, apologised for his absence.

Ominigbo, who claimed that his client was suffering from some health challenges, was unable to present any medical report to support his claim when the judge requested for one.

Angered by Ominigbo’s inability to support his claim with material evidence, Justice Agbaza noted that the defendant was acting as if he was above the law, having been served with hearing notices on three occasions, yet he failed to attend court.

In his submission, prosecuting lawyer, Umoh Inah Inah, recalled that following Iwuanyanwu’s absence on the last date, the court issued a bench warrant against the defendant, who was later arrested at the Owerri airport by Inspector Godwin Tanko of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

Inah said the intervention of security personnel attached to Imo State Government House frustrated the defendant’s arrest and movement to Abuja for the purpose of his being arraigned.

He prayed the court for a fresh arrest warrant to be directed at the Commander of the IRT, Abuja for easy execution.

Ominigbo said he was not opposed to the prosecution’s application for a fresh arrest warrant, but prayed the court to be afforded one more opportunity to produce the defendant in court on the next adjourned date, failing which the arrest warrant could be activated.

Ruling, Justice Agbaza rejected Ominigbo’s prayer and noted that Iwuanyanwu’s continued absence was disrespectful of the court, adding that no court allows such impudence.

He then adjourned till January 13, 2022 for arraignment.

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