Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and his company, Capital Oil and Gas Limited, were issued court summonses to appear in court to answer allegations made against them by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) regarding an alleged N135 billion debt, according to Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday.

AMCON claimed in its amended charge number FHC/L383C2019 that Ubah and his company Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited conspired to make false statements about the actual values of some assets transferred to AMCON under a consent judgment he and his business entered into with AMCON sometime between 2012 and 2018.

The troubled Senator was not present in court when the topic was discussed but he was represented by his attorney. In his remarks before the court, Mr. Babatunde Lawal, the prosecutor for AMCON, recalled that the defendants had been served with the amended charge and the hearing notice in the proceedings that took place on June 13, 2023. Additionally, he informed the court that Ubah was presented with a new hearing notice after he missed the last postponed date.  He, therefore, requested that a bench warrant be issued against him by the court. However, Mrs. Ifeoma Esom, the defendants’ attorney, informed the court that the matter was for a report of a settlement or plea and that they had just learned yesterday that the settlement had failed and that the first defendant’s absence from the court was due to the settlement.

The prosecutor responded by objecting on the grounds that a settlement cannot be considered a criminal matter. He claimed that while parties may choose to settle outside of court, they cannot include this as part of the criminal proceedings. He further argued that a plea agreement was the best that could be reached between the defendants, arguing that an out-of-court resolution does not offer the first defendant (Senator Ubah) a justification for skipping court.

However, Justice Oweibo decided against issuing a bench warrant and instead directed that Ubah’s attorney serve Ubah with a summons to appear in court on the following date. In addition, the judge ordered that if Ubah does not show up for court at the subsequent adjourned date, a warrant would be issued for his arrest.

The case was then put on hold until arraignment on October 18, 2023, by the court.

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