There was mild drama in front of the Lagos State Magistrate Court 1, Ikeja when Victor Eshiet of the popular music group, Mandators tried to evade arrest by officials of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Eshiet has for the past few years been in court with a Lagos-based businessman, Maurice Etim who had accused the US-based musician of 419.
According to our reporter who was at the scene, the suit between both parties had come up for hearing at the court and had actually been adjourned when Eshiet entered a tinted red Toyota car and tried to leave the area.
As the vehicle drove outside the Court premises, it was blocked by EFCC officials and the occupants were instructed to open the doors and step down but they refused.
There was a standoff for over 30 minutes before the EFCC got a towing van and towed the vehicle to their office in Ikoyi, where the musician and other occupants were arrested.
From documents sighted by this reported Eshiet has a company in the US, Intercontinental Purchase Services, Victorville, California with which he offered for sale a truck to Mr. Maurice Etim. This deal was concluded by both parties without any problems.
Shortly after in 2010, Maurice wanted five more trucks and Eshiet promised to deliver same. The sum of $86,370 was wired into the account of the same company that handled the first transaction.
Then, weeks later, Eshiet claimed that he knew nothing about the money or the said company, and became incommunicado for many months.
A frustrated Maurice Etim involved the Police and after years of hide and seek, Eshiet was arrested from Uyo and brough to Lagos, where he promised to pay.
Again, he absconded. That was when the matter was brought to court for settlement.
The matter had consistently been adjourned because Eshiet failed to show up. At some point, his lawyer informed the court that his client, (Eshiet) was ready to settle the matter out of court. The court granted another adjournment.
Days after this said adjournement, Eshiet and his lawyer reportedly wrote a petition to the Nigeria Police Zone 2 alleging that Maurice Etim had kidnapped him and actually demanded N5million ransom.
He also alleged that because he got wind of the kidnap attempt and escaped, Etim was now after his life.
Of course the Police promptly swung into action, Etim was invited for questioning and after three months of thorough investigation, the Police found that it was all falsehood and invited Victor Eshiet to come clear. He again, never showed up.
With this various delay tactics by Eshiet, Etim, the businessman decided to report to the EFCC since the matter involved wire fraud, it was his petition that led to the arrest of Eshiet, who has been in hiding for so many months, at the Court premises yesterday.
We gathered that the case between both parties will be up for hearing again at the Margistrate Court 1, Ikeja tomorrow.