Following the inability of its operatives yesterday to arrest the former governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has declared him wanted.
Sources at the Commission said operatives had gone to his residence at 32, Suleiman Barau Street, Aso Villa, Abuja yesterday but could not arrest the former governor who is said to have beaten the security officers.
The former governor is accused of have defrauded Kogi State of funds to the tune of N4bn during his tenure as governor between 1999 and 2003.
This is the latest effort to arrest him since the November 23, 2012 ruling of the Supreme Court, which dismissed the ex-governor’s appeal to prolong his corruption trial by the EFCC.
Prince Audu had approached the apex court and asked for a stay of proceedings at the Kogi State High Court, where he has been standing trial since December 1, 2006 on an 80-count charge of conspiracy, fraud, criminal breach of trust and embezzlement of public funds.
However, in a judgement delivered by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, the Supreme Court ruled that the Appeal Court had erred in considering the questions referred to it for determination despite knowing from the records of the Appeal Court a nolle prosequi had been filed.
The Commission has been held back partly in this case by the filing of several applications by the defendant or stay of proceedings at the high court pending the final determination of the appeal.
However, the lawyer to Prince Audu, Mr Abdullahi Haruna, told this reporter that his client had travelled to the UK for medical treatment to treat injuries he sustained in a car crash on the 28 September on his way back from Jos, Plateau State.
He disclosed that the former governor had flown to the UK immediately after the accident, but had suspended the treatment to attend his daughter’s wedding last week.
He, however, said that the former governor had received no invitation at all from the EFCC; as such, he could not be said to be fleeing the law.