Alleged 14m fraud: Defendant sold ex-lawmaker non-extent land – Witness tells court
A prosecution witness, SP Sini John, on Wednesday told an FCT High Court, Kubwa that an engineer, Victoria Adelana swindled a former member of the Federal House of Representatives, Chinenye Ike of N14 million over a non-existent land.
John who is on secondment to the EFCC, made the allegation when being led in evidence by the EFCC prosecution counsel, Olanrewaju Adeola.
He said the complainant, Ike submitted a written petition to the EFCC sometime in Feb. 2013.
”My team arrested the defendant on Feb. 21.
” My team and I questioned her and she was shown the written petition against her which she read through, replied in writing and signed on an EFCC statement sheet.
“Further investigations led us to arrest other suspects, Adewole Olugbenga, Patrick Ojo and Ezechi Benedeth which were charged with the defendant, ” he said.
John said further investigations unravelled that the defendant and the other defendants obtained N24.4 million under the guise of selling a non- existent parcel of land.
He said that the plot numbers contained in the offer letters given to the complainant for two plots of land in Kugbo were non-existent as verified by Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
” We also wrote letters to the Cooperative Affairs Commission (CAC) to verify the receipts issued to the complainant and they responded that the company, New Life Engineering is not incorporated in the CAC records.
” When Adelana was confronted about it, she said the said company was a subsidiary of New Life Camp Estate Property Limited, which another response from C.A.C revealed was not true.
” We also wrote to the Complainant’s bank, Eco bank for an analysis of his statement of account and it showed that money was sent to Adelana, ” John said.
He added that Adelana admitted to receiving N7 million twice from the complainant for two plots in Kugbo, Abuja, and confessed that she bought it at N2.5m each and kept N9 million to herself.
He said Adelana led his team to Olugbenga who said he got the plots from Ojo and sold to Adelana at N1.8 million.
” This led to Ojo’s arrest who revealed he sources documents from Benedeth who is a road safety official attached to AMAC.
” Adelana admitted to everything and said she needed time to pay the complainant back but had only refunded N1 million since 2013, ” he said.
He revealed that Adelana had jumped bail three times including her previous arraignment at FCT High Court, Jabi and having her rearrested had been difficult.
The prosecution counsel tendered the letters and responses from Eco bank, CAC and statements of the defendants as exhibits in court, which were admitted.
The defence counsel, Damilola Kolade asked the witness if he was aware that the said land was a subject of litigation in another court.
Kolade also asked if the witness was aware that the other defendants in the N14 million land issue had been discharged by the court.
The witness, however, said he was not aware.
Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya adjourned the matter until Nov. 11 for the defendant to open her case.
The EFCC charged Adelana and the three other defendants on 24 counts bordering on forgery and conspiracy.
The court on Feb.4 held that the other defendants had no case to answer because the complainant and another witness, Frank Kamalu testified that they do not know them.
They were however discharged on the said date.
Written by Kartia Velino