A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Chimaroke Nnamani, a former governor of Enugu State.
The court also ordered the arrest of one of his aides, Sunday Anyaogu.
The former governor was to be re-arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged money laundering of N4.5 billion an offense said to have been committed during his tenure as Governor of Enugu State between 1999 and 2007.
This move to re-arraign the former Governor is coming ten years after he was first arraigned alongside his aide, Sunday Anyaogu and six firms.
Presiding Justice Chuka Obiozor made the order of arrests following the failure of Shamsudeen Abubakar, the former governor’s lawyer, to give any reasonable evidence as to why his client was absent in court.
Nnamani’s lawyer had told the court that the former governor had undergone a heart surgery in the U.S which he said was responsible for his absence but the prosecution said the photographs brought by the lawyer as proof had been taken in 2014.
Justice Obiozor has adjourned till December 14th for the re-arraignment of the two defendants.
Both defendants were first arraigned in 2007 alongside their companies: Rainbownet Nigeria Limited; Hillgate Nigeria Limited; Cosmo FM; Capital City Automobile Nigeria Limited; Renaissance University Teaching Hospital; and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.
In 2015, all the companies pleaded guilty to the charges but the trial of Mr Nnamani and Anyaogu continued to stall due to the former’s frequent travels abroad to treat a heart ailment.
Justice Obiozor who is the fourth judge to handle the matter, has made it clear to the parties in the case that he would not tolerate any attempt to further delay the trial.