Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja has issued a warrant for the arrest of the Deputy Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Amarachi Iwuanyanwu, following his alleged involvement in a N785 million fraud.
He directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and all security agencies to arrest the lawmaker once seen.
Justice Ekwo said this could be within or outside Nigeria, adding that once Iwuanyanwu is arrested, he should be produced before him or taken to the headquarters of the EFCC.
The order for Iwuanyawu’s arrest was a sequel to an ex-parte application dated November 14, 2022, which the EFCC brought before the court through its lawyer, Olanrewaju Adeola.
The EFCC told the court that it got intelligence that the lawmaker had since escaped from the country and is currently hiding in the United States of America.
It told the court that he refused to make himself available to respond to a petition that was lodged against him and his company.
According to the EFCC, a firm, Hakiz Investment Company Limited had in the petition that was signed by its lawyer and addressed to its Chairman, alleged that it had some time in 2012 entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Iwuanyawu’s company to develop an estate comprising of 14 units of four bedroom terrace and one block of six flats on the petitioner’s land situated at Mabuchi, Abuja.
It told the court that the agreement was that upon the completion of the estate by the respondent, the complainant, who is the owner of the land, would take 40 per cent of the building, while the lawmaker, who is the developer, would take 60 per cent of the building.
However, the anti-graft agency alleged that its investigations revealed that upon completion of the estate, the respondent sold all the buildings and criminally diverted the funds without the knowledge of the complainant, and there is an intelligence report that the lawmaker is in the US.
The EFCC maintained that it would be in the interest of justice for the court to issue an arrest warrant against the Respondent.
The Commission told the court that it had since written investigation activities letters to the Corporate Affairs Commission, banks and other relevant agencies.
Meanwhile, in his ruling, Justice Ekwo held that there was merit in the ex-parte application and accordingly granted it.
Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter till February 23, 2023 for a report.