Court Orders Arrest of Two Foreigners Over N9.4bn Fraud

Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the arrest of two businessmen Nabil Edmond Maukarzel and Halawi Fidaa for allegedly refusing to appear before him to take their pleas in an alleged N9.4 billion fraud case.

Maukarzel, a Lebanese and Fidaa, a French national were accused by the prosecutors from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of obtaining the sum of N9,442, 788,578.93 from ECO BANK of Nigeria Limited under false pretences.

The police after concluding its investigation filed a three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and stealing against the foreigners.

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The charged, FHC/L/260C/2021, was signed by two police prosecutors, Williams Tijani and S. O. Ayodele.

The charge reads: “That you NABIL MAUKARZEL ‘M’, HALAWI FIDAA ‘M?’ and others now at large sometimes in the year 2014 at Apapa Lagos. in the Lagos State of Nigeria within the Jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria conspired among yourselves to commit felony to with obtaining the sum of N9,441,824,102.14K (Nine Billion, Four hundred and forty-one million, eight hundred and twenty-four thousand, one hundred and two naira and fourteen Kobo Only) from ECO BANK OF NIGERIA LIMITED under the pretence that you are using the said sum to import goods to Nigeria, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

“That you NABIL MAUKARZEL ‘M’, HALAWI FIDAA ‘M” and others now at Large sometimes in the year 2014 at ECO BANK OF NIGERIA LIMITED plot 21 Ahmadu Bello Way. Victoria Island mn Lagos State of Nigeria. within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud fraudulently obtained the total sum of N9.441,824.102.14K (Nine Billion, Four hundred and forty-one million, eight hundred and twenty-four thousand, one hundred and two naira and fourteen Kobo Only) from ECO BANK OF NIGERIA LIMITED under the pretence that you are using the said sum to import goods into Nigeria a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a), (c) & 1 (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section | (3) of the same act.

“That you NABIL MAUKARZEL ‘M’, HALAWT FIDAA °M?’ and others now at large sometimes in the year 2014 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court steal the total sum of N9,441,824,102.14K (Nine Billion, four hundred and forty-one million, eight hundred and twenty-four thousand, one hundred and two naira and fourteen Kobo Only) and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 390 (a) of the Criminal Code Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

But since the charge was filed in 2021 the suspects have declined to show up in court, prompting the police to file a motion exparte urging the court to order their arrest.

After listening to the motion, Justice Osiagor issued a warrant of arrest for the arrest of Maukarzel and Fidaa for the offence of conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence, fraudulent diversion of funds, and stealing to the tune of 9,442, 788,578.93.

The court ordered that the suspects should be apprehended and taken to the nearest police station.

6th December 2022
Nigerian Pantagraph
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