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Court orders arrest of Lebanese over alleged arson

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Justice Muhammad Nasir-Yunusa of the Federal High Court Kano, on Wednesday, issued a warrant of arrest for a Lebanese national, Maged Ali-Taan, over alleged arson.

The judge issued the warrant following the refusal of the defendants to appear in court to enter his plea on the charge.

Ali-Taan, who is the Managing Director of Alibert Products Nigeria Limited, was charged alongside his employee Mustapha Tiamiyu, by the Inspector-General of Police.

The defendants are to be arraigned on a three-count charge of conspiracy, arson and attempt to temper with an electric transformer.

The prosecution alleged that the defendants on December 20, 2021, conspired to set fire to a building they occupied as a tenant and used the same as showroom at no 5c Murtala Muhammed Way, Kano

When the case came up for arraignment, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Abdulsalam Saleh, told the court that the defense counsel who stand as the surety for the defendants promised to provide them in court on Wednesday for arraignment.

READ ALSO: Lebanese firm, four others to be arraigned Nov 26 for alleged forgery

He said: “To our greatest dismay the defense counsel chose to disrupt this court upon the opportunity and grace given to him.

“He should tell us why the defendants are not in court as he promised to provide them at the last adjourned date on November 22.

“We will file an application for the counsel to forfeit the bond he entered to produce the defendants under section 179 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.”

In his remark, the defense counsel, Mr. Yahaya Isa-Abdulrashid, informed the court that his superior had sent a letter to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and requested the transfer of the case to Abuja.

He said: “My Lord we sincerely apologise, for not providing the defendants in court.”

In his response, Justice Nasir-Yunusa said the case was a criminal matter and would not be transferred outside the state.

“I am disappointed the defense counsel failed to provide his clients as he promised today for arraignment,” he declared.

He adjourned the matter till January 17, 2024, for arraignment.

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