Fraud charges against Briton struck out
Drama ensued in a Lagos High Court, Ikeja last week after Justice Atinuke Ipaye struck out alleged USD$8.8m fraud charge filed against a British citizen, Deepak Khilnani by the Lagos State Attorney-General, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem.
Lawyers identified themselves as friends of the court protested against the discontinuous of the case of alleged $8.8m fraud filed against Khilnani.The lawyers led by Mr. Olayinka Ola-Daniels told the court that the attorney general failed to give any reasonable reason(s) why the case should not be continued.
British citizens, Dr. Sushil Chandra and Mr Khilnani, who are chartered accountants and of Indian descent were charged to court by the Lagos State Government in connection with USD$8,776, 862 fraud following a petition written to the Inspector General of Police by their local partners accusing them of financial crimes.
According to the petition, the complainants had in 2008 opened Letter of Credit in favour of Khilnani’s firm, Gentec Energy Plc. UK, for the purchase of equipment for the local partnership.
The petition led to Mr Khilnani’s arrest and interrogation by the police, but he was immediately granted bail with his lawyer, Chris Okunowo, standing as his surety, while investigation lasted for about a year.Upon completion of investigation, the police subsequently filed a six count criminal charge against him.
But on July 4, 2014, the day Mr. Khilnani was to be produced before a Senior Magistrate at the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, the police prosecutor, Inspector Stephen Molo, informed the Presiding Magistrate that Mr Khilnani reportedly jumped administrative bail granted by the police and fled to the UK.
The matter was later transferred to a Lagos high court and a bench warrant was issued against them. But at the last proceedings, the matter was struck out as a result of the application by the attorney general to discontinue the trial.