Police charges lawyer, 2 others with alleged N120m fraud

A lawyer, Mr. Idowu Adebayo Michael and two other persons were on Wednesday charged before a Federal High Court, Lagos, on a six count-charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining the sum of N120 million under false pretence, false presentation and forgery.   

Two other persons charged alongside the lawyer are: Mukaila Fakos and Engineer Rasaq Sefiu Adesina.

The the three defendants were charged before the court presided over by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, by the men of Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of Nigeria Police Force, Ikoyi-Lagos.

This police in the charge marked FHC/L/70c/17, alleged that the defendants and others now at large, sometimes 2010, conspired among themselves with an intent to defraud, fraudulently received the sum of N120 million from one Lanre Obisesan, under the pretence of selling a land to him.

The defendants were also alleged to have falsely presented themselves to Lanre Obisesan of having the right, power and authority to sell the landed property located at 5c, Michael Ogun Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, which belonged to Chief Idowu Musiliu Balogun.

They were also alleged to have forged a document titled “Special Resolution of Musbal Nigeria Limited”, ” Form CAC 7″ and a document titled “Consent Letter by Ayoola Fakos’.

The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. E. A. Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), are contrary to and punishable under sections: 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act. No. 14, 2006. And section 2(c) of the Miscellaneous offences Act Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

However, their arraignment on the charges could not take place following the applications filed by defendants’ lawyers led by O. Emawobia, challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the charge.

Their lawyers, while urging the court to quash the charge against their clients, told the court that the same charge has been filed against the defendants at a Lagos Magistrate’s Court, stating that by filing the same charge at the Federal High Court, is nothing but ‘forum shopping’.

Responding, the prosecutor, Mr. E. A. Jackson, in urging the court to dismiss the applications challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the charge, urged the court to direct its attention to Section 395(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, which allowed all courts to reserve it’s ruling on any application till the end of the matter.

Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), urged the court to uphold Section 395(2) of ACJA 2015, and take the plea of the defendants.

Meanwhile, the presiding judge, Justice Aneke has adjourned till March 7, for ruling on the defendants’ applications.

The charges against the defendants reads: Count one: “That you Mukaila Fakos, Engr. Rasaq Sefiu Adesina, Barrister Idowu Adebayo MichaeI, Babatunde Smith Adigun (at large) and Ajape (at large), sometimes in 2010, in Ikeja, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves, to obtain the sum of N120 million from one Lanre Obisesan, by false pretence that you had the power, right and authority to sell a landed property belonging to Mr. Idowu Balogun and Musbal Nig. Ltd, to him, when you were not authorized to do so by the true owners, being Mr. Idowu Musiliu Olalapc Balogun and Musbal Nig. Ltd and thereby committed an offence punishable under sections 8 (a) and 1(3) of Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related offences Act No. 14 of 2006. 

Count 2: “That you Mukaila Fakos, Engr. Rasaq Sefiu Adesina, Barrister Idowu 
Adebayo Michael Babatunde Smith (at large), Adigun (at large) and Ajape (at Large), sometimes in 2010, in Ikeja, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N120 million from Lanre Obisesan, by falsely representing to him that you had right, power and authority to sell landed property at No. 5c Michael Ogun Street, Ikeja, G.R.A., belonging to Musbal Nig. Ltd and its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Idowu MusiIIu Ololape Balogun and that the money represented the lawful purchase price for the property, which representations you knew to be false or did not believe to be true and thereby commuted an offence punishable under sections 1(3) of the Advance Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006. 

Court three: “That you Mukaila Fakos, Engr. Rasaq Sehu Adesina, Barrister Idowu Adebayo Michael, Babatunde Smith (at large), Adigun (at large) and Ajape (at Large), on or about 8th December, 2010, in Ikeja, Lagos State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, knowingly forged a document described as “Special Resolution of Musbal Nig. Ltd,” with intent that it may in any way be used or acted upon as genuine, whether in Nigeria or elsewhere, to the prejudice of any person, and thereby committed an . offence punishable under section 2(C) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. 

Count Four: “That you Mukaila Fakos, Engr. Rasaq Seiiu Adesina, Barrister Idowu Adebayo Michael, Babatunde Smith (at large), Adigun (at large) and Ajape (at Large), on or about 8th December, 2010, in Ikeja, Lagos State, within the Jurisdiction of this honourable court, knowingly forged a document titled “Form CAC 7” with intent that it may in any way be used or acted upon as genuine, whether in Nigeria or elsewhere, to the prejudice of any person and thereby Committed an offence punishable under section 2(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences, Act Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Count Five: “That you MukaIia Fakos, Engr. Rasaq Sefiu Adesina, Barrister Idowu Adebayo Michael, Babatunde Smith (at Large), Adigun (at large) and Ajape (at Large), sometimes in 2010, in Ikeja, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, knowingly forged a document, described as, “Consent Letter by Ayoola Fakos”, with intent that it in any way be used or acted upon as genuine, whether in Nigeria or elsewhere, to the prejudice of any person and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 2(C) of the Miscellaneous Offences, Act Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004″ 

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