Abebe, who is a younger brother of the late former First Lady, Stella Obasanjo, was arraigned on four counts before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja.
The EFCC, in the charges, claimed that Abebe “knowingly forged” a November 30, 1995 letter written by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited to Inducon (Nigeria) Ltd.
The anti-graft agency claimed 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 the production of oil in any of our fields.”
According to the EFCC, 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 and Inducon Nigeria Limited on one hand and Statoil Nigeria Limited on the other hand.
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, 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.
The prosecutor added that forgery was a violation of Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.
But when the charges were read to the businessman on Thursday, he pleaded not guilty.
Justice Mojisola Dada, while adjourning the case till August 2, 2018 to enable the defence counsel, Mr Uche Nwokedi (SAN), to file an application for his client’s bail, ordered that Abebe should be remanded in Ikoyi Prison.
John Abebe Arraigned For Forgery, Remanded in Ikoyi Prison . . The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, #EFCC, Lagos Zonal Office, on Thursday, July 26, 2018, arraigned one John Warimeme Abebe before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on a four-count charge bordering on forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice. . . 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 a 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.” . . The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him. . . In view of his plea, Rotimi Oyedepo asked the court for a trial date and prayed for accelerated hearing. . . “I urge your Lordship to invoke the spirit of Section 19 of the EFCC Act and I also pray your Lord to remand the defendant in prison custody.” . . The defence counsel, Uche Nwokedi, SAN, however, informed the court of a bail application. . . He also prayed the court to remand the defendant in the EFCC custody, pending the outcome of the bail application.
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