According to premiumtimes report; The Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission, EFCC, has applied for a bench warrant to arrest Bube Okorodudu,
transporter and Managing Director of Cross Country Ltd over an N8.2 million
Emmanuel Jackson, counsel to the EFCC, told a Lagos High Court sitting in
Ikeja that Mr. Okorodudu is “still at large.”
Mr. Okorodudu, Cross Country Ltd, and Car Link Limited are facing a
nine-count charge of conspiracy, stealing, and forgery before Justice Lateef
The EFCC accused the defendants of conspiracy in the fraudulent sale of 17
units of Volkswagen transporter buses belonging to AG Moeller Ltd.
Mr. Jackson said he was applying for the bench warrant for Mr. Okorodudu by
the combined provisions of Sections 79 and 80 of the Administration of Criminal
Justice Law of Lagos State.
“This honourable court has the power to issue a warrant for the arrest of
the defendant,” Mr. Jackson said.
“The first defendant (Mr. Okorodudu) should be in court but not enter the
dock since the issue of jurisdiction is being challenged. We are urging your
lordship to issue a bench warrant against the defendant,” added Mr. Jackson.
Robert Clarke, Counsel to the defendant, said the application for bench
warrant was “uncalled for” since they were challenging the court’s
At the last sitting, Mr. Clarke had filed an application arguing that the
EFCC, being a federal agency, lacked the power to prosecute criminal cases
before a state High Court.
On Monday, Mr. Clarke stated that the court adjudicating on a matter that it
was yet to assume jurisdiction would amount to an elevation of “judicial
rascality” to “judicial indiscipline.”
“Second 79 and 80 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos
State only applies to a situation during proceedings when trial has started,”
Mr. Clarke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said.
“Your lordship cannot make any judicial pronouncement until the court has
assumed jurisdiction. The issue is whether the accused person needs to be
present in court when a motion challenging the
jurisdiction of the court is being determined.
“Until your lordship determines the issue of jurisdiction, issuing bench
warrant is a judicial pronouncement it has to be made within jurisdiction not
The judge adjourned till April 8, for ruling and continuation of
“In view of the fundamental and serious issues raised, the prosecution
should file a written address within 14 days and the defence should file its
reply within seven days,” the judge added.