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Court Orders Arrest of Witness in Trial of Seun Egbegbe


The Federal High Court in Lagos has frowned at the absence of the first prosecution witness at the resumed hearing of the trial of filmmaker, Olajide Kazeem, better known as Seun Egbegbe, who was charged with serial frauds involving N39, 098,100, $90,000 and £12,550.
The court, Thursday, ordered the arrest of the police officer, Bello Abubakar, who was listed as the first prosecution witness in the case.
The trial Judge in the case, Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, said that Abubakar must be produced before her on October 11 to continue his testimony.
The Judge had earlier issued a bench warrant against Abubakar, ordering that he must be in court on Thursday.
The police officer, however, failed to appear to the Judge’s displeasure.
The police prosecutor, Innocent Anyigor, told the Judge that Abubakar had gone out of the jurisdiction, adding that all his efforts to bring him to court on Thursday failed.
Justice Oguntoyinbo berated the police prosecutor for the poor handling of the case, which had been filed before her since February.
She said the witness must be brought before her on October 11, failing which she would strike out the testimony which the witness had already given.
She directed the fifth defendant to get a counsel before the next adjourned date.
The police had first arraigned Egbegbe alongside one Oyekan Ayomide in February, the charges were subsequently amended on two occasions leading to their arraignment on 40 counts on April 3.
The defendants were accused of swindling no fewer than 30 Bureau De Change operators in Lagos of various sums both in local and foreign currencies between 2015 and 2017.
The police alleged that they defrauded the BDC operators mostly by falsely representing to the victims that they had foreign currencies to sell to or buy from the BDC operators.
Those arraigned alongside Egbegbe and Ayomide were Lawal Kareem, Olalekan Yusuf and Muyideen Shoyombo.
The police said on February 2, 2017, Egbegbe and his co-defendants fraudulently obtained the sums of N2.45m and £3,000 from one Alhaji Isa Adamu in Lagos under the guise that they wanted to see the naira and buy the pounds.
Among the other victims of the alleged frauds by Egbede were Mohammed Sanni, who was allegedly defrauded of N2.46m on 2017 New Year day; Jubrila Ado, allegedly defrauded of N1.257m on September 9, 2016; Hassan Amodu, allegedly defrauded of N600,000 in January 2016; Sanni Hassan, defrauded off N1.43 and £2,750 in August 2015; Saidi Abdullahi, defrauded of N700,000 on April 18, 2016; Atairu Abdullahi, defrauded of N1m on June 23, 2016; and Abdullahi Babadisa, defrauded of N650,000 in January 2016.
The prosecutor, Anyigor, told the court that Egbegbe and the others acted contrary to Section 8 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and were liable to be punished under Section 1(3) of the same.

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