By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
A Chief Magistrate Court of Nasarawa State has quashed and set aside a warrant of arrest and remand issued against the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Duport Midstream Company Limited, Dr Akintoye Akindele.
The court quashed the arrest warrant on Thursday while delivering ruling in a suit No: CMC/MG/CR/175/2023, between Akindele (defendant) and the Inspector General of Police (the complainant).
Chief Magistrate Victor Manga delivered the ruling upon realization that the arrest warrant ought not to have been issued in Nasarawa State in the first instance.
A copy of the court order was made available to our correspondent by one of the lawyers of the defendant, Pelumi Olajengbesi.
Akindele, through his lawyers, had approached the court praying for an order to set aside the warrant of arrest and a warrant of commitment to prison on remand earlier issued in favour of the Inspector General of Police.
The ground of the prayer by the lawyer was that the arrest warrant was a nullity on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction and non-disclosure as well as suppression of material facts.
The court subsequently ordered the “setting aside and discharging of the warrant of arrest, warrant of search and warrant of commitment to prison on remand against the defendant (Dr Akintoye Akindele).”
Commenting on the development, Olajengbesi said, “The implication of the court order is to nullify the basis upon which the defendant was arrested in the first place which means that the arrest and search were wrongfully done without proper order from the court.
“The standard in our criminal jurisprudence is investigation before arrest. It is worrisome that the Nigeria Police Force will have to approach a Magistrate Court in Nasarawa State where the court has no jurisdiction to issue such a warrant and after the court said it lacked jurisdiction on the matter and invited the police to defend it, the police failed to show up having recognised their error in the whole unnecessary drama.”
Akindele had opened up on a business dispute he had with the family of the late MKO Abiola. The businessman had said his business rivals are trying to weave unfounded fraud allegations around him through cronies, describing all fraud allegations against him as untrue.