Obasanjo’s in-law, Abebe, remanded in prison for alleged forgery
Mr. John Abebe, businessman and brother of deceased former First Lady, Stella Obasanjo, has been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja on 4 counts bordering on forgery and intent to mislead.
He pleaded “Not guilty” when the charges were read to him in court Thursday by EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo.
The EFCC in the indictment alleged that the businessman “knowingly forged” a November 30, 1995 letter written by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited to Inducon (Nigeria) Ltd.
It said Mr. Abebe “illegally inserted” into page 2 of the said letter the following statement: “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 Dr. 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 told the court that by attempting to pervert the course of justice, 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.
Justice Mojisola Dada, while adjourning the case to enable the defence counsel, Mr. Uche Nwokedi (SAN), to file an application for his client’s bail, ordered that Abebe be remanded in Ikoyi Prison.