An application filed by two Lebanese nationals to dismiss criminal charges and an extradition order made against them over alleged N9. 4 billion fraud has been rejected by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Nabil Maukarzel and Halawi Fidaa, currently residing in Spain, were accused of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence the sum of N9, 441, 824, 102. 14 from Ecobank Plc.
They had collected the money by claiming they wanted to import goods into Nigeria.
According to the police, the alleged crimes were committed at Apapa in 2014.
Following their failure to appear in court, police prosecutor S. O. Ayodele applied to the court for an extradition order against them, which was granted by the court.
However, the defendants’ lawyer Mesuabari Josiah approached the court with an application seeking to quash the charge and to strike out the extradition order.
Josiah also filed before the court a notice of appeal against the extradition order and a motion for a stay of the extradition order.
But Ayodele argued that the court could only grant the defendants’ reliefs after they have submitted themselves to the court and taken their plea on the charges against them.
Ruling on the applications, Justice Daniel Osiagor held that “fugitive defendants, who refuse to submit themselves to court, have no right of audience.”
Justice Osiagor thereafter dismissed the two applications for lacking merit.