Alleged $4M Fraud: Court Fixes Oct. 22 For Cross-Examination Of Obasanjo’s Brother-In-Law, John Abebe
Photo Caption: The Defendant, John W. Abebe(middle) with EFCC Operatives
Further hearing in the alleged $4 million fraud charge filed against Mr. John Warimeme Abebe, the brother-in-law to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos State, has been adjourned till October 22, 2021.
Justice Mojisola Dada, the presiding judge fixed the date for the EFCC to further cross-examined Abebe after listening to counsel in the trial.
Abebe, a brother to Late former First Lady of Nigeria, Stella Obasanjo, was arraigned before the court on July 26, 2018 on a four-count charge of forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempting to pervert the course of justice by the antigraft agency.
One of the 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 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 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″.
He had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
However, at the resumed hearing of the matter today, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, further probed Abebe and also confronted him with several documents, which he was alleged to have forged.
However, there was no re-examination by the defence counsel, E.D. Onyeke, who thereafter applied to the court for the release of the defendant’s passport “to enable him visit his doctor in the United Kingdom.”
In urging the court to release Abebe’s passport Onyeke said: “due to the COVID-19, he couldn’t go for the treatment last year and a new appointment has been given to him by a specialist consultant in order to perform a medical procedure on his heart”.
Abebe’s counsel further told the court that his client would need four to six weeks as a timeline for his monitoring.
Followng Onyeke’s submission, Justice Justice Dada adjourned the matter till October 22, 2021, for further cross-examination.