Tue. May 21st, 2024
Absence of a prosecution witness on Tuesday stalled the trial of a 72-year-old man, Murtala Adebayo, charged with defrauding his son-in-law of N19 million, on the pretext of procuring him plots of land.
Adebayo was arraigned on Jan. 24, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on a three-count charge bordering on intent to defraud and obtaining money by false pretence before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The defendant, had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges, before the case was adjourned to May 14 (Today).
However, at the resumption of the hearing on Tuesday, the EFCC counsel, Mr Babangida Isah, informed the court that the second prosecution witness, an investigative officer (IO), was not present in court due to an official assignment.
Isah apologised to the court for the absence of the witness and also prayed for a short adjourned date for the continuation of trial.
“The matter is for continuation of trial but the investigative officer, who is supposed to come today is on official assignment.
“We aplologise to the court for his absence and we shall be praying for a short adjourned date.
“I have also spoken with the defence on the new development,” the prosecutor said.
The Defence Counsel, Mr Bamidele Ogundele, did not oppose the submission of the prosecution and also confirmed to the court that he had been intimated about the absence of the witness.
The commission alleged that  the defendant, with an intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N4.5 million from one Mr Gafar Ademolake, the complainant, who is also his son-in-law, under the guise of paying for three plots of land at Ogombo Ajah in Lagos State, for him.
The EFCC added that the defendant also collected N5.5 million from the complainant as part-payment for 18 plots of land in Ayogbemi Village in Ibeju-Lekki, which he knew to be false.
It further alleged that the defendant collected two Toyota Camry (2005 model) and one Honda Accord (2006 model), valued at nine million Naira from the complainant as part of payment for the 18 plots of land at Ibeju, a presentation he knew to be false.
According to the EFCC, the alleged offences contravene Section 1 (3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.
Justice Mojisola Dada, thereafter, adjourned the case until July 2, for continuation of trial.

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