Court orders arrest of Buhari’s probe panel investigator

Okoi Ofem Obla
Okoi Obono-Obla, Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday ordered the arrest of a UK-based private investigator, Victor Uwajeh.

Mr Uwajeh, who was also employed as a private investigator for the Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, was declared ”liable to be arrested”, following his failure to appear in court, after the court ordered its bailiff to serve the defendant with court summons through substituted means.

Mr Uwajeh was accused of ”defrauding Nigerians” in a four-count charge brought against him by the federal government.

The charges followed a petition written against the defendant by an Anambra State Senator, Andy Uba.

After attempts by the bailiff to directly serve the defendant with the originating summons failed, the court presided over by judge, John Tsoho, issued an order for the same originating summons to be served on Mr Uwajeh by substituted means.

The court’s order for a substituted service was carrried out in April.

The matter had also been adjourned till Monday for arraignment of the defendant, but Mr Uwajeh failed to appear on court.

Reacting to the non-appearance of the defendant, Mr Tsoho said this amounted to an affront to the court.

“The defendant has still not shown up in court. This constitutes an affront by the defendant to the authority of this court and renders him liable to an order of arrest pursuant to Section 83(1)(b) 131 and 352(1)(a)of the ACJA,2015.

“Accordingly, bench warrant is issued against the defendant in this charge to compel his appearance before this court for trial,” the judge ruled.

The chairman of the presidential panel, Okoi Obono-Obla, had in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES in April said the panel was investigating Mr Uwajeh and would recommend the withdrawal of his appointment, if found guilty.

“I made the appointment for him to assist me in my work. After the appointment, the allegations surfaced. We will ascertain then if it is true we will have to review it,” said Mr Obono-Obla.

Mr Obono-Obla could however not be immediately contacted to ascertain the status of Mr Uwajeh.

Mr Uwajeh could not be immediately reached for this report.

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