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N979m Subsidy Scam: Court Refuses To Vacate Warrant On Ogunbambo

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 28, (THEWILL) â€' Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Monday dismissed an application asking the court to vacate the warrant issued against an oil marketer, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo.

Ogunbambo is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside Habila Theck and their company, Fargo Energy Limited over an alleged N979.6 million fuel subsidy fraud.

In his ruling, the judge held that the application was misconceived as there was no exceptional circumstances warranting the court to vacate the bench warrant.

'This is a part-heard criminal proceedings in which trials have been adjourned several times because of the absence of the first defendant and to the detriment of the second defendant (Theck),' he said.

According to trial judge, the purpose of the warrant is to ensure that Ogunbambo is brought to court for speedy conclusion of the trial.

He, consequently, dismissed the application and urged the EFCC to proceed with efforts being made to effect his arrest.

Recall that Justice Onigbanjo issued a bench warrant on Ogunbambo on February 10, 2014 for failing to appear before the court for the continuation of his trial.

Ogunbambo's counsel, Mr. Raphael Oluyede had in the application urged the court to stay execution of the bench warrant pending the hearing and determination of his client's appeal against the court's order. Oluyede had also asked the court to restrain the EFCC from arresting his client.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Emmanuel Jackson, had urged the court to dismiss the application on the ground that it was an abuse of court process.

Justice Onigbanjo adjourned the matter till June 25, 2014 for continuation of trial.