N88.9m Fraud: Court Declares Lawyer Wanted For Jumping Bail

Justice Yellim Bogoro of the Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the arrest of a legal practitioner, Ismaila Ahmed Olokun for failing to appear in court for his trial over an alleged $250,000 fraud.

Justice Bogoro issued a warrant for the arrest of Olokun after a request to that effect from the prosecution.

The judge also ordered the operatives of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies across the country, to arrest Olokun in any part of the country and bring him before the court to face criminal the charge filed against him by the police.

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Olokun was arraigned before the court on a five-count charge for offences hinging on false pretence with intent to defraud, fraudulent conversion and issuance of dud cheques.

The offences according to the prosecutor, Henry Obiaze, are contrary to and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, Section 390 (8) (b) of the Criminal Code Act Cap. C38 LFN 2004 and Section 1 (a-b) (i) of the Dishonored (Cheques) offences Act, Cap. D11 LFN 2004.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail on January 19, 2022, but he has repeatedly refused to appear in court for his trial.

All efforts made by the Law Firm representing the defendant to ensure his appearance before the Court were futile.

Consequently, Justice Bogoro invoked a provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act ACJA 2015 and ordered security operatives across the country to arrest the legal practitioner anywhere he is found and bring him to court.

The Judge directed that Olokun, be arrested and detained by security operatives until he is brought before the court.

According to the charge filed before the court, the defendant sometime in 2019, allegedly defrauded Edward and Jones Contracting Services Limited to the tune of $250,000 equivalent to N88,912,932 under the guise of being the escrow agent between Septegram Investment Limited, Terragen Energy Solutions Limited and Edward Jones Contracting Services Limited.

The prosecutor also told the court that the defendant, in a bid to cover up the alleged fraud, issued several Zenith bank Plc cheques, which were rejected and returned for lack of funds.

The Zenith Bank Plc’s cheques allegedly were issued by the defendant, including a cheque with Serial number 05390978 with monetary value N88, 912, 932.06; cheque No. 05390976, for the sum of N26,850 million and Zenith Bank Cheque No. 05390980, for the sum of N4, 475 million.

The said Zenith Bank Plc cheques were dated June 15 and 30, 2019.

15th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph