DPP, Police tango over trial of developer who duped 297 people of N65m

Further hearing on the bail application of a developer, Alabi Tesleem Idowu, who was accused of defrauding 297 accommodation seekers of N65 million, in Lagos State, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, was stalled today.

The developer was on August 11, dragged before the court presided over by Justice Nicholas Oweibo by the men of the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) Ikoyi, Lagos, on 251 counts charge of conspiracy, obtaining under false pretence and fraud.

The offences according to the prosecuting Police Officer, Barrister Chukwu Agwu, is contrary to and punishable under section 1(3) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006. 

The allegations the developer had pleaded not guilty to.

While Justice Oweibo had ordered that the developer be remanded pending the hearing of his bail application, the Directorate  Public Prosecution (DPP), had on September 3, informed the court of taking over the developer’s prosecution, this according to Mrs. Adetutu Oshinnusi, a Deputy Director in DPP’s office was sequel to a Fiat issued to the Lagos State’s Attorney-General by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF). The development which made the court to adjourned the matter till today, for hearing and determination of the developer’s bail application.

However, at the resumed hearing of the matter today, the DPP’s Deputy Director, Mrs. Oshinnusi announced her appearance for the prosecution, Mr. Chukwu Agwu, from PSFU equally announced his appearance as the prosecutor in the case, the situation which made the court to asked for the main substantive prosecutor of the case.

Addressing the court on her position as prosecutor of the case, Mrs. Oshinnusi said: “its unfortunate that the police is appearing on the matter today, after the court had granted the AG Lagos State to take over the matter.

“However, till today, it has been impossible for us to take over the matter because SFU has failed to make available to us necessary information relevant to this matter. 

“On September 3, we did a letter to SFU informing them of taking over and the letter was received on September 4, but till today, SFU has failed to hand over. The prosecutor this morning was asking for the ‘fiat’.

Responding, the police lawyer, Mr. Chukwu Agwu, who discribed DPP’s allegation as strange said: “it’s quite strange because on that day when the court ordered directed that we should handover all documents. Am yet to get the documents. I only asked for the ‘fiat’ so that it will empower the CP (Commissioner of Police) to make available the documents. But the DPP failed to obliged us the letter with the ‘Fiat’.

“Someone from called my yesterday after 4 p.m., asking me about the case file, I told the person that there is noway I could get it for them since they failed to produce the ‘fiat’.

DPP (Interjected) “the letter was addressed attention of the Mr. Agwu, because I believed he was in court on September 3, which I thought he will help in getting the file speedily”.

Addressing the court on the situation, developer’s lawyer, Mr. Jilji Jubril, said since the public officers failed to put their houses in order, which his client is now suffering for, the court should adjourned the matter for a short time.

Jibril said if the matter between the two public officers remained unsolved, the court should hear is client’s bail application, which he said is due for hearing.

Before adjourning the matter till September 25, the presiding judge asked the DPP for the letter written to the PSFU, and upon tendering the letter, Justice Oweibo told the DPP that it cannot expect the police to honour such letter since it was not accompanied with the court order and AGF’s fiat.

Consequently, the judge mandated the DPP to write another letter and attach the court order and the fiat obtained from the AGF. 

In the charge, the developer was alleged to have used a renovated building which is of a room self-contained and room and parlour self-contained, located at Karimu Street, Alapere, Ketu-Lagos, to defraud the accommodation seekers of the said sum between this year’s January and June.

Among those allegedly scammed by the developer and the sum received from them according to the prosecutor are: Mohammed Akeem, N400,000.00; Philip Obinna, N320,000.00; Folorunsho Ridwan N835,000.00; Mrs. Owodunni Dorcas Adrtutu, N240,000.00; Abdulraham Named, N170.000.00; Folakemi Amosun, N220,000.00; Theresa Amazi, N175, 000.00; Samson Emmanuel, N195, 000.00; Salau Wasiu, N180,000.00; Khadyat Sanusi, N140,000.00; Ishola Matthew,  N240,000.00.

Others are: Michael Bashoru, N150, 000, 00; Akinshola Samuel, N100, 000.00; Olaleye Bisola, N260.000.00; Emmanuel Agbakwuru, N270, 000. 00; Ayedun Oluwatobi, N200,000.00 and many others.

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