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500M Fraud Case: Claim That Baba Isa Was Absent In Court A ‘Blatant Lie’ – Lawyer’s Reply

Date:

On March 15, 2024 there was a news report that a Federal High Court sitting in Maitama Abuja has threatened to issue a bench warrant against a legal practitioner, Barrister Ferdinand Baba Isa following his alleged failure to appear in court in a N550 million fraud case filed against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC.

In response to the above widely circulated report, Mr. Baba Isa’s counsel have issued a rejoinder, clarifying that the 2nd Defendant was present in court on the said date and stating that the report was done at ‘the behest of those who are hellbent on derailing the resolution of this matter as admonished by the court’

Read the full rejoinder below:

RE: COURT WARNS FERDINAND BABA ISA OVER ABSENCE IN 550M FRAUD CASE – RIGHT OF REPLY

Our earlier decision was to ignore this publication for we are fully aware that it was done at the behest of those who are hellbent on derailing the resolution of this matter as admonished by the court, but we have to issue this brief statement to debunk the outright lies in the said publication.

First, it is a blatant lie that Barrister Ferdinand Baba Isa was not in court on the 10th of May, 2024 when the matter came up. Mr Isa was in court. We cannot help but wonder the point of having blogs focused on law related issues, run by lawyers, when these blogs cannot confirm issues like this by just putting a call to the registrar of court before copying and pasting media trial materials. It is also unfair for these blogs to copy and paste media trial materials without sharing the backend stories they published on the same issue 4 years ago.

It would have been proper for these blogs to inform the public that what happened and what they published 4 years ago, with documents to back up, is the story of how Mr Isa, a lawyer, sued the ICPC and GTB to lift the PND on his client’s account, how GTB approached them to settle the matter out of court, how a terms of settlement was drawn, filed in court and adopted as a consent judgment in the presence of ICPC in court, how the client took the enrolled order to the bank, how the money was transferred to the firm’s client account on the written instructions of the client, how the NBA stepped in to caution ICPC when they started harassing lawyers involved in the matter.

The said charge was filed over 3 years ago against Guaranty Trust Bank, Nsikak Udoh (the lawyer who represented GTB), Roseline Egbuha, Ferdinand Baba Isa (who represented Roseline Egbuha) and Leonard Onuegbu (a Guaranty Bank Staff). It was before Justice Taiwo Taiwo Rtd, who upheld a preliminary objection filed by GTB, striking out some counts of the charge because according to the court GTB committed no offence in transferring the said money to the client’s account.

The Prosecution however, insisted that other counts are still subsisting and since then the Defendants have not been arraigned. Of all the Defendants, Mr Isa is the only one who is hardly ever absent in court for the past 3 years, and he was in court on the 10th of May, 2024, contrary to what was reported.

The court having observed that Mrs Roseline Egbuha is not mentally stable to stand trial ordered for a medical check on her and enjoined parties to resolve the issues amicably. Parties have taken this hint of the court and are at an advanced stage of resolving the matter. We believe that certain elements who are hellbent in persecuting the lawyer want to disrupt this amicable resolution, and they are behind the publication containing half-truths and outright falsehoods. Media trial like this is aimed at intimidating, defaming, blackmailing and harassing parties, and most times, even the judex.

The public is urged to disregard that publication.

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