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Accused disappears without trace after arraignment in Lagos

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 An alleged pipeline vandal, Kingsley Ibeto, ran away without a trace after arraignment before a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.

The Nigeria Civil and Security Defence Corps (NCSDC) had charged the accused with unlawful dealing in petroleum products before a vacation judge, Justice Chuka Obiozor.

He is facing a two-count charge bordering on dealing in petroleum products without lawful authority.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges before his disappearance without a trace.

After his plea, his counsel, Mr Babatunde Adeyanju, informed the court that he had filed an application for bail.

The judge, however, said that the application was not in the court’s file and consequently stood down the case for the application to be properly brought before the court.

While the case was stood down, the accused played a fast game on his lawyer, the prosecution and the court and disappeared into thin air.

When the case was called for the hearing of the bail application, the accused had left the court premises without notifying his counsel.

His counsel, Adeyanju, however, called him severally on phone but the accused did not answer the calls.

After all efforts to locate him failed, his counsel, in an uncomfortable voice, prayed the court to adjourn the case to enable him ‘fish out the accused’.

Justice Obiozor, consequently adjourned the case until Aug. 28 for hearing.

The offences according to the prosecutor, Mrs Rita Ezeli, contravened Section 3(6) of Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004, and punishable under Section 1(7) of the Act.

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