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N9.4bn fraud: Lebanese lose bid to escape charges, extradition order

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday dismissed an application seeking to quash a criminal charge and extradition order filed against two Lebanese, Nabil Maukarzel and Halawi Fidaa, by the police.

The defendants were accused of defrauding Ecobank Plc of the sum of N9.4bn.

The foreigners, who were said to have since fled to Spain, were charged with three counts bordering on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, and fraud to the tune of N9.4bn

The Force Criminal Investigation Department told the court that the defendants became elusive and failed to appear in court to take their plea.

The FCID’s prosecutor, S. O. Ayodele, applied to the court for an extradition order against them, which was granted by Justice Daniel Osiagor.

However, a lawyer, Mesuabari Josiah, approached the court on behalf of the foreigners with an application to quash the charge and to void the extradition order made against the Lebanese.

The counsel also filed a notice of appeal against the extradition order and a motion for a stay of the extradition order.

But the police lawyer, Ayodele, in his response to the defendants’ motions, filed a counter-affidavit, urging the court to dismiss the applications.

The police counsel argued that the court could not grant the defendants any relief while they had refused to submit themselves to the court.

In his ruling, Justice Osiagor held that “fugitive defendants, who refuse to submit themselves to court, have no right of an audience.”

The judge thereafter dismissed the two defendants’ applications for lacking merit.

Prevail Inegbenose

Prevail Inegbenose is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Spark Media & Entertainment Ventures, the publisher of Spark News Daily - Nigeria's most sought-after online news platform - Politics, Sport & Entertainment. Prevail Inegbenose hails from Irrua, Esan Central LGA of Edo State. He studied Mass Communication from the prestigious Auchi Polytechnic Auchi and graduated in 2007. Prevail Inegbenose is a veteran journalist with 15 years of active and practical journalism. He has authored so many write-ups, a lot of which had been published in the newspapers, magazines and social media. Hence Prevail Inegbenose is a Journalist, Writer, Researcher, Author, Communication Expert and Consultant, Social Media Influencer, Project Management Expert, Peace Ambassador and Advocate of Good Governance and Better Society. He's a Pastor, in fact the Lead Pastor, House of God Int'l - Rest Tabernacle, Abuja Nigeria.

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