Monday, 5 June 2017

Businessman charged over N86M land fraud


FCT High Court's Justice Angela Otaluka commenced trial in a case involving Idris Shuabu, a developer and Ikechukwu Sebastian for obtaining N86M under false pretense on Monday.

Mr Richard Dauda the Prosecution counsel,who led Shuaibu in evidence at the witness box, said his 26 hectares of land was revoked by the former Minister of FCT, Mr Bala Muhammed in 2014.

Shuaibu made it known that he was introduced to Sebastian by his uncle, one Gogobiri, who he said worked with Abuja Geographical Information Systems (AGIS) and was in the position to help get back the revoked land.

He said that the defendant assured that his property would be reinstated if he agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with him.

He announced that when he gave a copy of the MoU to his lawyer, he was advised against it.

He said that the defendant had demanded the sum of N150M to be paid as the amount for the yet-to-be reinstated landed property revoked by the former minister.

“Sebastian kept calling me and since I thought he was a staff of AGIS and I am a business man, I made the payment without the knowledge of my lawyer.’’

He said that he paid Sebastian both in naira and dollars without the consent of his lawyer.

He said that he paid the total sum of N86M before he found out that Sebastian was not a staff of AGIS.

Shuaibu announced that the attitude of the defendant in getting his land reinstated propelled him to approach the Deputy Director of Land in AGIS to confirm the identity of the defendant.

He announced that it came as a big shock when he heard that the defendant was not a member of staff of AGIS.

He said that he requested his lawyer to petition the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to demand his money back, adding that he was summoned by the commission for questioning.

Shuaibu then asked the court to urge the defendant to produce his money, adding that the defendant had shown that he was dishonest and could not be trusted.

However,Mr Paul Samson Counsel to the Defendant, prayed the court to adjourn the matter because he was not with necessary documents that could help in the trial of the case.

He said the purpose of the document would help assist the defendant to get justice in the matter that was before the court.

Otaluka however suspended the case until July 4 for further hearing.

The judge called on the parties to equip themselves with all the necessary documents, adding that she would no longer tolerate any adjournment in the matter.

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