Alleged Arson: Court orders arrest of Lebanese national, 1 other

By Ramatu Garba
  A Federal High Court sitting in Kano, on Wednesday, issued a warrant of arrest for a Lebanese man,  Maged Ali-Taan, for failure to appear before it.
Justice Muhammad Nasir-Yunusa, issued the warrant following the refusal of the defendants to appear in court to enter their plea over a charge of alleged arson.
NAN reports that Ali-Taan,the Managing Director of Alibert Products Nigeria Limited alongside his employee Mustapha Tiamiyu, are charged by the Inspector General of Police.
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 to the defendants promised to provide them today for arraignment.
“To our greatest dismay the defense counsel choose 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 Nov.22.
“We will file an application for the counsel to forfeit the bond he entered to produce the defendants pursuant to section 179 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015”  Saleh said
Responding, the defense counsel, Mr Yahaya Isa-Abdulrashid, informed the court that his superior has sent a letter to the Chief Judge of Federal High seeking for the transfer of the case to Abuja.
“My Lord we sincerely apologise, for not providing the defendants in court”
Nasir-Yunusa said the case is a criminal matter “I don’t see how it can be transferred.
“I am disappointed the defense counsel failed to provide his clients as he
promised today for arraignment”
He adjourned the matter until Jan.17, 2024 for arraignment.
The defendants are charged on three-count bordering on conspiracy, arson and attempt to temper with electric transformer.
The defendants on Dec.20, 2021 were alleged to have conspired willfully and maliciously set fire on a building at no 5c Murtala Muhammed Way Kano which he occupied as a tenant and used same as show room.
“In the process Ali-Taan made a fraudulent insurance claim on the said building.
“The defendants also allegedly attempted to temper with electric cables and transformer used for supplying electricity to the said building”
According to the prosecutor, the offences contravened the provisions of section 3(6),1(4)(a) and 1(19)(a) of the Miscellaneous offences Act.(NAN)