Obasanjo’s in-law remanded for alleged forgery

A Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja Thursday remanded a businessman, John Abebe, in prison for allegedly forging a document belonging to an oil company.

Mojisola Dada, the judge, ordered that the suspect be kept in Ikoyi Prison till August 2, the next adjourned date, for Uche Nwokedi to file an application for Mr Abebe’s bail.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Mr Abebe, a younger brother of a late former first lady, Stella Obasanjo, on four counts before the judge.

The deceased was wife to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and died while her husband was in office.

On Thursday, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The EFCC, in the charges, claimed that Mr Abebe “knowingly forged” a November 30, 1995, letter written by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited to Inducon (Nigeria) Ltd.

The anti-graft agency claimed that the businessman illegally inserted into page 2 of the said letter that: “Also note that the ‘Buy-Out Option’ only applies to the pre-production stage of the NPIA. The $4m buy-out is thus irrelevant from production of Oil in any of our fields.”

According to the EFCC, Mr Abebe also attempted to pervert the course of justice by tendering the allegedly forged November 30, 1995 letter “as a fabricated evidence” in court, in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/224/2010 between John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited, and Statoil Nigeria Limited.

The EFCC accused him of making an attempt to mislead the court by using fabricated evidence contrary to Section 120 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.

The EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that by attempting to pervert the course of justice, Mr Abebe violated Section 126 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.

The prosecutor added that forgery was a violation of Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.

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