A Federal High Court in Lagos has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of former Governor of Enugu state, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani.
Justice Chuka Obiozor issued the arrest warrant after Nnamani failed to appear for his re-arraignment in court last Thursday.
Nnamani’s legal journey with the court began a decade ago, after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) brought charges against the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader for misappropriation of N4.5 billion during his tenure as governor.
M Bamidele, the counsel to Nnamani explained to the court that his client was unable to attend the re-arraignment hearing due to his medical sojourn abroad for a heart surgery.
said his law firm got notice of the hearing six days earlier, and that it was too short for Nnamani to return.
Justice Obiozor then adjourned till yesterday for the re-arraignment, but Nnamani still did not attend court.
EFCC’s lawyer Kevin Uzozie urged the court to order the former governor’s arrest for failing to turn up.
“I humbly apply that a bench warrant to be issued against the defendant and for his sureties to show cause,” he said.
But, Nnamani’s lawyer Abubakar Shamsudeen said the former governor was “severely sick” and “bedridden” in a hospital in the United States (U.S.).
“I was reliably informed that the defendant had a heart surgery. His absence is not deliberate,” he said.
In his ruling, Justice Obiozor said, “The last time the defendant came to court was in 2015,” Justice Obiozor noted.
The judge added: “Not only has the defendant failed to show evidence as to why he is absent in court, there is no justification for the absence.
“In the absence of any evidence, it is hereby ordered that a bench warrant be issued for the arrest of the defendant and for summons to be issued for the sureties to show cause.”