The Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, on Monday, ordered a man, Nurudeen Ekundayo, who stood as surety for a British national facing a charge of N10.32m fraud, Syed Kamran, to produce the accused or be ready to serve his jail term.
The judge warned Ekundayo, who was not in court on account of alleged ill-health, to appear in person on the next adjourned date or a bench warrant would be issued against him.
Kamran was arraigned by the police in 2015 before an Ogba Magistrates’ Court for allegedly defrauding 11 Nigerians of over N120m.
The prosecution alleged that Kamran obtained the money from his victims on the pretext of supplying them Automotive Gas Oil but failed to do so.
The Briton, who spent several months in prison custody for failure to meet his bail terms, allegedly absconded when they were eventually met and he was released.
It was gathered that Kamran was re-arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, while on his way to the UK.
He was re-arraigned before Justice Modupe Nicole-Clay in 2016 on two counts of conspiracy and obtaining the sum of N10.32m under false pretences from a traditional ruler in Imo State, Ubochi C. Ubochi.
According to the prosecution, the defendant committed the fraud through an elaborate diesel Local Purchase Order scam.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and was subsequently granted bail.
Kamran has subsequently been missing court sittings, prompting the judge to summon his surety, Ekundayo.
At Monday’s proceedings, Justice Nicole-Clay renewed her January 21 order for the surety to produce Kamran, forfeit his bail bond, or be ready to serve the suspect’s jail term.
The renewal of the order followed an application for a bench warrant made by the Lagos State counsel, Busayo Apata, but the surety’s counsel, O. Adeniyi, opposed the application, pleading for more time.
Adeniyi told the court that her client was ill and was on admission at a general hospital.
Adeniyi prayed for an adjournment to give the surety time to recover from his ailment.
“This matter escalated the surety’s blood pressure. He and the foreigner met at a club and became good friends,” she said.
In a bench ruling, Justice Nicole-Clay stated, “The surety has three options: produce the defendant, forfeit his bail bond or be ready to serve his term. The medical report says he is hypertensive. That shouldn’t stop him from appearing in court.”
The matter has been adjourned till June 24 for hearing.