Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Prince Benedict Benjamin Apugo who is facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a case involving the fraudulent sale of land belonging to the Nigeria Railway Corporation.
The warrant was issued Thursday, October 8, 2015 by Justice F. A. Olubanjo following the failure of the accused to attend his trial after he was granted administrative bail by the EFCC.
Apugo is alleged to have fraudulently sold 6 plots of land valued at N36m belonging to the Nigeria Railway Cooperation, to the petitioner. In the course of investigation, the accused was invited and made statement under caution. He was subsequently released on administrative bail.
He was due to be arraigned on a 3-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence.
But the accused became elusive and all attempts to serve him the charge were futile.
When the case was called on October 8, Apugo was not present to take his plea but his counsel filed a notice of preliminary objection to the charge on the grounds that the charge is incompetent and failed to disclose a prima-facie case against the accused.
Justice Olubanjo however issued a Bench Warrant for his arrest and adjourned the case to November 2, 2015.
One of the counts of the charge reads, “That you Prince Benedict Benjamin Apugo on or about the 7th day of March 2013 in Umuahia within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria with intent to defraud obtained the sum of six million naira (N6,000,000.00) from one Mr Obiomaehemiah Isiuwa, when you falsely represented yourself through his agent, Mrs.Adline Victor Nkwo, to be the owner of six plots of land valued at thirty-six million Naira (N36,000,000.00) located at the House of Assembly Road by Ochendo By-pass in Umunwulari Nkata Ibeku layout, Umuahia in Umuahia -North Local Government Area, Abia State otherwise called Ogurube layout, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the same Act.”