Home Courts Lagos Court orders arrest of billionaire businessman, Cletus Ibeto

Lagos Court orders arrest of billionaire businessman, Cletus Ibeto


A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Friday, ordered arrest of a billionaire businessman, Chief Cletus Ibeto, following his absence to take his plea over alleged N4.8 billion fraud.

Justice Ismail Ijelu issued a warrant of arrest against Ibeto after he failed to appear for the fourth time in a criminal suit filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He subsequently adjourned the case to November 15, 2023 for arraignment of the defendant.

The EFCC had filed 10-count charge against Ibeto alongside his company, Ibeto Energy Development Company, on offences bordering on alleged obtaining by pretenses, fraudulent conversion of property, criminal breach of trust, forgery, and deception.

The anti-graft commission said his offences ‘’contravene the provision of Section 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act 2006 and Section 365(3d) and (e), 366 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”

While ruling on the arguments of counsel and their submission, Justice Ijelu held that the defence lead counsel, Mr. Daniel Awosika (SAN) did not adduce any cogent reason for absence of defendant and adjournment before the court.

The judge held that, “the court did not exist for frivolities, as it only existed for dispensation of justice.

‘’It appears that the defence counsel decided to waste the time of the court. The court is the symbol of the state and not an object of ridicule.

“Although the senior counsel just appeared in this case today, but two senior counsel had previously appeared and promised that the defendant would appear for his arraignment. The application of the prosecution to issue warrant of arrest thereby succeed.

“Bench warrant of arrest is, hereby, issued against the defendant.”

The defence counsel, Mr. Daniel Awosika, had urged the court to step down the application of Bench Warrant against the defendant.

He also prayed the court to grant last opportunity to produce the defendant in court, in the interest of justice, adding that the defendant has an underlying sickness.



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