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Court orders arrest of ex-Nigeria customs chief, Dikko

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Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, ordered the arrest of a former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko.

The judge issued the bench warrant against Mr Dikko for his continued failure to appear in court in respect of corruption charges instituted against him and two others by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Monday, Mr Dikko’s lawyer, Solomon Akuma, presented a medical report to the court.

The lawyer said his client was critically ill and on admission at a London hospital.

But the judge said Mr Akuma had on the last adjourned date, promised to produce his client in court.

Ms Ojukwu said the address on the medical report (No: N6 Ahmed Musa Crescent Jabi, Abuja) does not support his claim that Mr Dikko is in a hospital in London

She asked the prosecution to set aside the arrest warrant if they discover that the ex-custom chief is indeed in a London hospital. If not, he should be arrested and brought to court on March 16.

Mr Dikko is being prosecuted by the ICPC alongside a former Assistant Comptroller-General of the agency in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, Garba Makarfi, and Umar Hussaini, a lawyer and owner of Capital Law Office.

They are accused of inducing the Managing Director of Cambial Limited, Yemi Obadeyi, to pay N1.1 billion (N1,100, 952,380.96) into the account of Capital Law Office as a refundable “completion security deposit” for the purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.

The ICPC accuses Messrs Dikko and Makarfi of using the bank account of Mr Hussaini’s firm’s to illegally receive the money. The anti-graft agency further alleged that Mr Hussaini, between April 6 and December 2010, shared the money into various accounts.

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Mr Makarfi was accused of receiving $3 million between April and December 2010, apparently as part of the proceeds of corruption.

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