The Federal High Court in Lagos has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of one Joshua Adeyinka Kayode, 22, a defendant, who is standing trial for allegedly defrauding over 170 investors of N10.7 billion through a sham investment scheme.
The Nigeria Police Force had last August arraigned Kayode before Justice Tijjani Ringim of the Federal High Court. The defendant was arraigned alongside his company, Quintessential Investment Company Limited, on a 170-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence.
However, when the matter came up last Friday before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, the defendant was absent, and this led the Justice to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the defendant. The matter was, however, adjourned to March 25, 2022.
Justice Oweibo had admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N2 billion with two sureties in the like sum. The sureties must be a landed property owners within the court’s jurisdiction and were to depose to affidavit of means.
He also ordered the defendant to deposit his international passport with the court registrar while the sureties and the defendant were ordered to deposit their two passport photographs. The court ordered the prosecutor, Mr. Tijani Williams, to verify the bail conditions.
Meanwhile, Williams had told the court that the defendant and others now at large committed the offences between July 2020 and March 2021, telling the court that the defendant defrauded the victims under the pretence of bogus returns on investment.
He stated that the offences committed by the defendant are contrary to and punishable under Section 8(a) and
1(1) (a) and (c) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to all counts of the charge.
Tijani then urged the court to remand the defendant in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS) pending when his bail application would be heard and determined.
Counsel to the defendant, Mr. Emeka Okpoko (SAN), did not oppose the prosecutor’s application for remand of the defendant. Instead, he asked the court for a short date to enable him file the bail application.
After listening to the submissions of the parties, Justice Ringim adjourned the matter to August 11, 2022, for hearing of the defendant’s bail application, and also ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the NCS pending the hearing and determination of his bail application.
Kayode was earlier arrested by operatives from the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) following a complaint by one of the investors, but allegedly absconded upon release on administrative bail.
He was, however, re-arrested by a crack team from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) Annex, Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos.