Suspected Pipeline Vandal Escapes From Court After Arraignment
A suspected pipeline vandal, Kingsley Ibeto, who was arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, on two count charge bordering on unlawful dealing in petroleum product without lawful authority, played a fast game on the court, as he disappeared after his plea was taken.
Ibeto was charged before the court presided over by Justice (Professor) Chuka Obiozor, on the alleged crime by the Nigeria Civil and Security Defence Corps (NCSDC).
The offences according to the prosecutor, Mrs. Ezeli Rita, are contrary to section 3(6) of miscellaneous offence act, Cap. M17, Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under section 1(7) of the same act.
The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
After his plea of not guilty, in an attempt by his lawyer, Babatunde Adeyanju, to secure his bail, informed the court that he has filed a bail application and that the said application is yet to be in court’s file.
However, the presiding judge, Justice Obiozor, told the lawyer that the application was not in his file, and consequently stood down the matter for the court registry to properly bring the application before the court.
The prosecutor had also told the court that she was yet to be served with the bail application.
However, while the matter was stood down, for his bail application to be brought before the court, the accused, played a fast game on both his lawyer, the prosecution and the court, as he disappeared from the Court.
When the matter was recalled after his bail application had been brought before the court for hearing the accused was nowhere to be found.
All calls put to him by his lawyer were ignored and unanswered. The situation left all those in court perplexed.
Also, all efforts to locate him failed, his lawyer, in an uncomfortable voice, pleaded with the court to grant him short adjourned date, to enable him fish out the accuse.
Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Obiozor, adjourned the matter.