The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has secured a bench warrant to arrest two nationals of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka for their failure to appear in court to take their plea in a criminal matter.
The bench warrant was issued by Hon. Justice O. O. Goodluck of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 4, sitting in Maitama, Abuja.
The two Sri Lankans Messrs Saththiyaraj Kantharasa and Vinith Ukantharasa and a Nigerian national Anthony Adetokunboh who are the 1st, 2nd 3rd accused persons respectively, were scheduled to appear before the court on allegations bordering on forgery of travel documents and criminal conspiracy.
Kantharasa and Ukantharasa were accused of forging the passports, national identity card and driving license of the Republic of Malaysia.
However, when the case was mentioned for arraignment, only the 3rd defendant announced his appearance in court, while the 1st and 2nd defendants were conspicuously absent.
Their lawyer, Nonso Nzedebe, informed the court that his clients were fully aware of the rescheduled date for their arraignment which is today Wednesday, May 13th 2020, saying that he was not informed of any reason for their absence in court.
The prosecution counsel, Eniekan Ekong, had earlier prayed the court to grant the Commission a bench warrant for their arrest to compel them to attend their trial.
In granting the warrant, the trial judge expressed disappointment in the two foreign nationals that despite their knowledge of the rescheduled date for their arraignment, they chose to abscond without any reason.
Justice Goodluck also ruled that a bench warrant be issued against their surety, Mr. Olanrewaju Olayiwola Olusola, a Deputy Director with the Federal Ministry of Finance, as to why he should not be remanded in prison custody pending the time the suspects are found.
The case has been adjourned to May 27th 2020.