A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday adjourned the arraignment of the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, who was arrested on Friday by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Okonkwo was brought to court on Monday in a white EFCC bus, alongside Dauda Lawal, a former executive director of First Bank. 

The arraignment of the two banks chiefs could not hold as a result of the absence of Lanre Adesanya and Stanley Lawson, who are also being charged alongside the bank chiefs. 

At the resumption of hearing before Honourable Justice Muslim Sule Hassan, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that all efforts to secure the attendance of the third and fourth persons involved in the case yielded no result. He, however, asked for a bench warrant to allow EFCC arrest the defendants. 

Meanwhile, Ademola Adesina, Counsel to Adesanya and Lawson, told the court that the two defendants had travelled abroad on medical grounds before the charge was filed.

He asked the court to allow him bring the defendants at the next adjourned date, and the court acceded to the request and adjourned the case till January 14, 2019 for arraignment. 

Paul Okoroko, on his part, pleaded with the court for the release of his client, Nnamdi Okonkwo and he undertook to bring him on the next adjourned date.

However, Oyedepo opposed the application on the ground that court had not assumed jurisdiction to entertain any application because the defendants were yet to be arraigned before the court.

Justice Hassan adjourned the case till January 14, 2019 for arraignment. 

The anti-graft commission took the bank chiefs to court on a 14-count charge bordering on money laundering and conspiracy.

EFCC also alleged that the bank chiefs concealed the sum of $153.3million siphoned from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under Deizani Alison-Madueke as petroleum minister in 2015.

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