BBC

An alleged pipeline vandal, Kingsley Ibeto, ran away without a trace during his arraignment before a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.

The Nigeria Civil and Security Defence Corps had charged the accused with unlawful dealing in petroleum product before a vacation judge, Justice Chuka Obiozor.

Ibeto is facing a two-count charge bordering on dealing in petroleum products without lawful authority.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges before his disappearance without a trace.

After his plea, his counsel, Babatunde Adeyanju, informed the court that he had filed an application for bail.

The judge, however, said the application was not in the court’s file and consequently stood down the case for the application to be properly brought before the court.

While the case was stood down, the accused played a fast game on his lawyer, the prosecution and the court and disappeared into tin air.

When the case was called for the hearing of the bail application, Ibeto had left the court premises without notifying his counsel.

Adeyanju called him several times on his phone but the accused did not answer the calls.

After all efforts to locate him failed, his counsel, in an uncomfortable voice, prayed the court to adjourn the case to enable him “fish out the accused”.

Justice Obiozor consequently adjourned the case until August 28 for hearing.

The offences, according to the prosecutor, Rita Ezeli, contravened Section 3(6) of Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004 and punishable under Section 1(7) of the Act.

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