A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja on Monday issued a warrant of arrest against a former House of Representatives member, Chief Chuma Nzeribe, for disobedience to the order of the court.
Justice Halilu Yusuf, who issued the arrest warrant, ordered the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and other security agencies of government to arrest Nzeribe in any part of the country and bring him to court to face judgment in criminal charges against him.
The Federal Government put the Anambra politician on trial for alleged impersonation and cheating while in Abuja.
Although judgment in the trial was fixed for March 11 by Justice Yusuf, the former lawmaker was absent in court.
Justice Yusuf on March 11 granted a request for shifting of the judgment to March 21 but to the chagrin of the court, Nzeribe did not show up without any cogent reason.
Acting on the request of EFCC, the judge invoked a provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act ACJA 2015 and ordered security operatives across the country to arrest the former federal lawmaker anywhere he is found and bring him to court.
The judge directed that Nzeribe be detained by security operatives until he is brought before the court.
Nzeribe, a former governorship aspirant on the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Anambra State was put on trial by the Federal Government on charges bothering on impersonation, possession of false federal government documents and using same to cheat.
His lawyer, Charles Ndukwe had on March 11 told the judge that a relation of his client sent a letter that the former House of Representatives member was down with chronic hypertension.
The letter from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital dated March 10 was presented in court.
In the drama that ensued over the source of the letter, the judge had directed the lawyer to contact his client on phone to know how long it will take him to recover.
However, following the inability of the counsel to give a categorical date, Justice Yusuf fixed March 21 with an order that the defendant must be physically present in court for the judgment to be delivered.
Shortly after the adjustment, counsel to the former lawmaker had challenged the presence of newsmen in court.
The legal practitioner who was visibly angry with newsmen had queried their interest in covering judgment on the trial of his client.