By Lukman Olabiyi
Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has quashed a bench warrant issued against one Saab Rafic, a Lebanese, who was accused of committing criminal acts.
The court set aside the warrant on the ground that it was not properly obtained. The judge held that the prosecution misled the court in granting the order.
Justice Oweibo had, on December 10, 2020, issued an order of arrest against Saab, for his failure to appear before the court over alleged conspiracy, unlawful conversation of $5, 000 and fraud.
Upon the issuance of the arrest warrant, Saab’s counsel, Mr. Muyiwa Ogungbenro, approached the court for an order to setting aside the bench warrant issued against his client and an order directing the prosecution to serve the order setting aside the bench warrant on all the agencies, whom it has served with the bench warrant.
In response, the prosecuting counsel urged the court to dismiss the application, on the ground that the bench warrant issued against a defendant can only be vacated until he is physically present in court in criminal charge.
Both parties supported their arguments with a plethora of authorities. However, Justice Oweibo, after hearing both parties, resolved it in favour of the Lebanese.