N10.3m scam: Court orders Nigerian surety to produce Briton

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Akin Kuponiyi

A Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere has given a Nigerian surety, Nurudeen Ekundayo, till June 24, 2019 to explain his failure to produce a British man, Syed Mohammed Kamran, who is standing trial before the court for alleged N10,320,000 fraud.

The presiding Judge, Justice Modupe Nicol-Clay renewed her order made on January 21, 2019 for the surety to either produce Kamran, or forfeit his bail bond or be ready to serve jail term.

The judge warned Ekundayo, who was absent in court on account of ill-health, that unless he appeared in person in court at the next sitting, a bench warrant for his arrest would be issued against him.

The warning followed an application for a bench warrant to be made by Lagos State counsel Bisayo Apata. The application was opposed by Ekundayo’s counsel, Mrs O. Adeniyi, who pleaded for more time, because the surety is gravely ill.

Syed Mohammed Kamran, a Briton was arraigned by the police in 2015 before Mrs Abimbola Komolafe presiding over an Ogba Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos for allegedly swindling 11 Nigerians to the tune of about N120 million.

He was alleged to have been supplied diesel but failed to pay for the products. He pleaded not guilty.

The Briton spent several months in Kirikiri Prison following his failure to meet his bail conditions but as soon as he met his bail bond, he absconded, and has since then relocated from Nigeria to Essex, United Kingdom. He was arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command, at the Murtala Muhammed Internation­al Airport en- route the United Kingdom .

Kamran was re-arraigned before Justice Nicol-Clay in 2016 on a two count charge of conspiracy and obtaining the sum of N10,320,000 by false pretence from a traditional ruler in Imo State, His Royal Highness Ubochi C. Ubochi.

The offences were allegedly committed by the defendant “through “an elaborate diesel Local Purchase Order (LPO) scam.”
Kamran pleaded not guilty, following which he was granted bail.

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But soon after he fulfilled his bail bond, Kamran missed court dates, prompting the judge to summon Ekundayo to show cause.

Last January 21, 2019 the prosecutor, Mr. K Sarumi told the court that Kamran had jumped bail, and was believed to have fled abroad.

Sarumi stated this following Ekundayo’s failure to produce the Briton for trial.

Ekundayo’s counsel, Mrs O. Adeniyi, told Justice Nicol-Clay that her client was ill and had sent his eldest son to inform the court that he was on admission at a general hospital, but Sarumi opposed her.

Thereafter, the surety was brought to court to explain the defendant’s absence. The court directed him to produce the defendant.

The prosecutor then applied for a Bench Warrant to be issued against Ekundayo, following which Adeniyi tendered a medical report from a general hospital on her client’s behalf.

Adeniyi prayed the court for an adjournment to give the surety time to recover from his ailment.

She added: “This matter escalated the surety’s blood pressure. He and the foreigner met in a club and became good friends.”

However,Justice Nicol -Clay turned down her application.

In her ruling, Justice Nicol-Clay said “The surety has three options: produce the defendant, forfeit his bail bond or be ready to serve his jail time. The medical report says he is hypertensive. That shouldn’t stop him from appearing before the court.”

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