Alleged N1bn Fraud: ICPC drops charges against ex-customs boss




A Division of the federal high court sitting in Abuja Wednesday dropped charges of corruption filed by the ICPC against a former Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko.

The charges were dismissed by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu in an application by the anti-graft agency informing the court of its difficulties in apprehending Dikko.

Dikko was charged alongside Garba Makarfi, a former Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs, in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, Umar Hussaini, a lawyer and owner of Capital Law firm are defendants in the case.

The trio, among others, was accused of inducing the Managing Director of Cambial Limited, Yemi Obadeyi, to pay N1.1 billion into the account of Capital Law Office.

The fund is alleged to be a refundable “completion security deposit” for the purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the NCS.

Prior to this time, this medium recalled that after the ICPC confirmed that Dikko was not on admission in a London hospital as claimed by his defence counsel, Solomon Akuma, the trial judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had at the last sitting in March issued a bench warrant for his arrest for failing to appear for his trial.

In his argument, the ICPC prosecuting counsel, Ebenezer Shogunle, had told the court that information available showed that the defendant left Nigeria on February 15 and arrived in London through Dubai on February 19.

According to him, findings later revealed that the claim made by Akuma that Dikko was on admission in a hospital in London as at February 17 was contradictory.

However, at the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Shogunle informed the court that they had been unable to apprehend Dikko despite the warrant issued against him.

Subsequently, Justice Ojukwu then granted the application of dismissal of charges against Dikko.

Blueprint reports the trial judge had earlier criticized the ICPC over its prosecution of former Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdullahi Dikko, accusing the commission for not handling the matter with seriousness.

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