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EFCC arraigns Stella Obasanjo’s brother for forgery

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Thursday remanded a Lagos businessman, John Abebe in Prison custody for alleged forgery.

Justice Mojisola Dada ordered that Abebe, a younger brother of the late former First Lady, Stella Obasanjo, be remanded in Ikoyi Prison pending filing and hearing of his bail application by his counsel, Mr Uche Nwokedi (SAN).

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had   arraigned Abebe before the court on a four count charge of forgery.

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

The anti-graft agency alleged that the businessman illegally inserted into 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.”

The EFCC alleged that 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 defendant was also alleged to have made 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.

EFCC prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, 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.

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

Abebe however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Justice Dada adjourned the case to enable the defence counsel, Mr Nwokedi to file an application for his client’s bail.

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