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Court Refuses To Quash Arrest Warrant Against Foreigners

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Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed the application filed by two businessmen Nabil Edmond Moukarzel and Halawi Fidaa, asking him to quash an arrest warrant issued against them over an alleged N9.4 billion fraud.

Justice Osiagor dismissed the application filed by Moukarzel, a Lebanese and Fidaa, a French national, holding that, “the court cannot quash a warrant that has already been executed”.

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The judge had on November 8, 2021, issued a warrant of arrest for the arrest of the two businessmen for the offence of conspiracy and obtaining money by pretence, fraudulent diversion of funds, and stealing to the tune of 9,442, 788,578.93.

The court granted the order after the police prosecutor, Sunday Ayodele informed it that the defendants have failed and refused to appear before it to take their plea on a three-count charge against them.

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But the defendants instead of attending court filed an application asking the court through their lawyer, Mrs. T. O. Olatunde-Fesogbon to quash the arrest warrant.

The defendants had claimed that their application was seeking an order extending the time within which they may seek leave to appeal the Order of the court made by Justice Osiagor on November 8, 2021.

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“An order granting them leave to appeal the Order and extending the time within which they may appeal against the order, as per the Proposed Notice of Appeal annexed .to as “Exhibit NMS’.

At the resumed hearing of the application, the prosecutor told the court that the order of the court had been carried out by the Spanish police authority and that the two defendants have been arrested and are currently in the custody of the Spanish’s Interpol, while it’s Nigeria counterpart is awaiting their repatriation to Nigeria.

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But the defence counsel told the court that her clients had filed an appeal against the order and that t. is a need for the court to stay all proceedings on the matter pending the outcome of the appeal.

Justice Osiagor after listening to the lawyers held that the court cannot stay an order that had been executed.

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