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ICPC Withdraws N1B Fraud Charges against Former Customs Boss

By Ojochenemi Simon

The N1 billion fraud charges leveled against the Former Comptroller General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko has been withdrawn.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) had in 2019 instituted the fraud charges against Dikko and two others – a former Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, Garba Makarfi; and Umar Hussaini, a lawyer and owner of Capital Law firm.

However, the Commission on Wednesday withdrew the N1bn fraud charges instituted against a former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko, and two others.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu dismissed the charges after the ICPC’s prosecuting counsel, Ebenezar Sogunle, announced the withdrawal of the charges at the Wednesday’s proceedings.

But withdrawing the charges on Wednesday, the ICPC’s counsel, Sogunle, informed the judge that Dikko had not attended court for the case despite the arrest warrant the court issued against him in February this year.

He said the commission had yet to confirm his whereabouts but would produce him in court once arrested.

Sogunle said, “At the last adjourned date, the 1st defendant (Dikko) was conspicuously absent and court mandated the prosecution to locate him.

“Sequel to that, we wrote to Nigeria Immigration Service which replied that they had no record of his traveling from January till date.

“This matter having spent some time already, we are convinced that the 1st defendant is a fugitive of the law and we are taking necessary steps to apprehend him.

“Whenever that is done, we will bring him to face the law. In the circumstances, we are applying to withdraw the charge in line with section 108 of AJCA.”

The application for withdrawal of the charges was not opposed by defence lawyers, including, Chief Solo Akuma (SAN), Mahmud Magaji (SAN) and Yakubu Maikyau (SAN).