The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday ordered that a warrant of arrest be served on Victor Uwajeh, ex-investigator for the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIPRPP).
Justice John Tsoho gave the order after listening to submissions of counsel.
The Federal Government filed a four-count charge bothering on forgery, impersonation and fraud against the defendant who has failed to appear in court.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Aminu Alilu, had told the court that the defendant had flouted court orders twice, by refusing to appear in court after being served personally with criminal summons.
The prosecutor said that the defendant had shown utter disrespect and disregard to the court by refusing to obey court order.
Uwajeh’s counsel, Mr Omobi Nzelu, consented that the prosecution had stated the position of the law in seeking for a bench warrant, but begged the court to consider the “circumstances surrounding the case.’’
Nzelu told the court that he needed a little time to study the processes in order to advise his client.
In his response, the prosecution told the court that the present defence counsel has no right in the matter when the former defence counsel did not officially withdraw from the case.
Alilu argued that Section 349(8) of the ACJA stated that where a legal practitioner intends to discharge from a matter, he shall notify the court not less than three days in writing.
Uwajeh was sacked by the Special Presidential Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIPRPP), led by Okoi Obono-Obla, as the panel’s special investigator.
Uwajeh was engaged by the panel in March 2018 to assist “to track and recover stolen funds stacked” in the UK “by past/present public officers in Nigeria”.
The penal announced Uwajeh’s disengagement through its letter sent to him via e-mail on April 27, 2018.
The letter with reference number SPIP/LR/2018/Vol. 1/29 was dated April 23, 2018.
It stated that the presidential panel decided to sack him due to his alleged non-disclosure of a criminal charge pending against him before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Justice Tsoho adjourned the case until July 4 for arraignment.(NAN)