The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday arraigned a Nigerian businessman, John Abebe, who is also former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s brother in law for alleged forgery.
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, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
The EFCC, in the charge, alleged 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 production of Oil in any of our fields.”
Abebe was also accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice by tendering the alleged 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.
He was further accused 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.
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 and that forgery was also a violation of Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.
when the charges were read to him, the accused businessman, pleaded not guilty.
The presiding Judge, Justice Mojisola Ayoka Dada, while adjourning the case to enable the defence counsel, Mr Uche Nwokedi (SAN), file an application for bail, ordered that Abebe should be remanded at Ikoyi Prison pending the hearing and determination of his bail application, and thereafter adjourned the case till 2nd of August, for the hearing of the bail application.