John Abebe, the brother-in-law of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, has been ordered remanded in Ikoyi Prison, Lagos over an alleged forgery charge slammed against him by the the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State ordered the remand of the brother of Obasanjo’s late wife, Stella.
This was after Justice Dada had listened to a four-count charge of forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice against Abebe.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly forged BP Exploration Nigeria Limited’s letter dated 30th November,1995 to Inducon (Nigeria) Limited by inserting in page 2 of the said letter the following words: “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” and purported same to have been issued by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited and committed an offence contrary to Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”
Another count reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly used a fabricated evidence in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/224/2010 Between Dr. John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited And Statoil Nigeria Limited, before the Federal High Court, which evidence was admitted and marked exhibit BB in the said suit and committed an offence contrary to Section 120 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him.
In view of his plea, the EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the court for a trial date and prayed for accelerated hearing.
Oyedepo said: “I urge your Lordship to invoke the spirit of Section 19 of the EFCC Act and I also pray your Lord to remand the defendant in prison custody.”
The defence counsel, Uche Nwokedi (SAN), informed the court of a bail application.
Nwokedi also prayed the court to remand the defendant in the EFCC custody pending the outcome of the bail application.
In his response, Oyedepo confirmed receipt of “the bundle of documents in court”, while the Judge was delivering a judgment (in another matter).
He, therefore, prayed for a short time to enable him respond to the application “because of certain allegations on oath that was deposed to”.
Consequently, Justice Dada adjourned the matter to August 2, 2018 and ordered the defendant to be remanded in Ikoyi Prison custody pending the hearing of the bail application.