Justice Ismail Ijelu of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja on Friday ordered the arrest of the Chairman of Ibeto Energy Development Company, Cletus Ibeto, for allegedly refusing to appear in court for his fraud trial.
Justice Ijelu issued the bench warrant after a motion moved by the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), who informed him that the defendant had flagrantly failed and refused to appear in court, despite repeatedly hearing notice served on him.
The EFCC had charged the defendant alongside his companies, Ibeto Energy Development Company and Odoh Holdings Ltd, over an alleged N4.8 billion fraud.
The anti-graft agency filed a 10-count charge of conspiracy, fraud, forgery, and fraudulent use of documents.
The defendant’s arraignment was stalled on September 28 and October 5 due to his failure to appear in court, although he was represented by his lawyers.
On two occasions, his lawyer, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), informed the judge that his client was absent due to ill health. He, however, promised to produce him on Friday.