N10.3m Fraud Charge: Court orders surety to produce Briton
A Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere on Monday ordered a surety, Nurudeen Ekundayo, to appear on June 24 to explain why he failed to produce a British man, Syed Kamran, facing N10.3 million fraud charge.
Mr Ekundayo is facing a count charge of showing cause why his bail bond should not be forfeited because of his failure to produce Mr Kamran who he stood surety for.
At the resumed hearing, Judge Modupe Nicol-Clay renewed her January 21 order for the defendant to either produce Mr Kamran, forfeit his bail bond or be ready to serve a jail term.
The judge warned Mr Ekundayo, who was absent in court on alleged account of ill-health, that unless he appeared in court in person, a bench warrant would be issued against him.
The warning followed an application for a bench warrant made by Lagos State counsel, Bisayo Apata.
Mr Ekundayo’s counsel, O. Adeniyi, however, opposed the application and pleaded for more time, saying that the surety was seriously ill.
She tendered a medical report from a general hospital on his client’s behalf.
But the judge refused the application.
In a bench ruling, Justice Nicol-Clay held: “He has three options: produce the defendant, forfeit his bail bond or be ready to serve his time.
“The medical report says he is hypertensive. That shouldn’t stop him from appearing.”
She adjourned hearing until June 24, for hearing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Kamran was first arraigned sometime in 2015, at a Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for allegedly defrauding 11 Nigerians to the tune of N120 million.
Mr Kamran was re-arraigned before Justice Nicol-Clay in 2016 on a two-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining the sum of N10.3 million by false pretence from a traditional ruler in Imo State, Chuks Ubochi.
The prosecutor said the defendant committed the alleged fraud through “an elaborate diesel Local Purchase Order (LPO) scam.”
Mr Kamran pleaded not guilty, following which he was granted bail.
According to the Lagos State prosecutor, soon after Mr Kamran fulfilled his bail bond, he missed court dates, prompting the judge to summon Ekundayo to show cause.
At the last adjourned date, January 21, the prosecution counsel told the court that Mr Kamran had jumped bail.
The prosecutor told the court that Mr Kamran was believed to have fled abroad.
The prosecutor stated this following the surety (Ekundayo’s) failure to produce the Briton for trial.