The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday told an Ikeja High Court that an oil marketer, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo, standing trial for alleged N979.6m subsidy fraud, had escaped to Canada.
EFCC counsel, Mr. Emmanuel Jackson, disclosed this to Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo at the resumption of Ogunbambo’s trial.
Ogunbambo and another oil marketer, Habila Theck, are standing trial along with their firm, Fargo Energy Ltd.
The trial judge had on February 10 issued a bench warrant against him after he failed to appear before the court for the continuation of the trial.
But his counsel, Mr. Raphael Oluyede, in an application dated February 11, 2014, urged the court to stay execution of the bench warrant and to restrain the EFCC from arresting him.
Oluyede added that hearing of an appeal filed by Ogunbambo against the bench warrant was still pending before the Court of Appeal, Lagos.
He said that Ogunbambo was absent from court because he was recently attacked by some gunmen who had wanted to abduct him.
Opposing the application, Jackson said the EFCC had not been able to execute the bench warrant as ordered by the court.
He said: “We have deposed in our affidavit that intelligence available to the EFCC is that the defendant (Ogunbambo) has left the country for Canada.
“The commission is concerned because of the number of cases we have filed against him.
“He has abused the liberty of being granted bail and his action is making the criminal law to look like a toothless bulldog.” He debunked the claim that Ogunbambo was recently attacked by gunmen, adding that it was evident that he was no longer in Nigeria. Jackson urged the court to dismiss the application on the grounds that it constituted abuse of court process.
The judge adjourned the matter till April 28 for ruling on the application.