By Abimbola Ogunnaike
A Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, presided by Justice Mojisola Dada has sentenced John Abebe, an in-law to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, to seven years jail term for forgery.
Dada committed Abebe to prison with an option of N50 million fine to be paid within 30days, after it was established that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Abebe, who is a younger brother to the late former First Lady, Stella Obasanjo, for alleged forgery.
Abebe was arraigned on four counts before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja and the charges claimed that Abebe “knowingly forged” a November 30, 1995 letter written by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited to Inducon (Nigeria) Ltd.
The commission also claimed that the businessman “illegally inserted” into page 2 of the said letter “the following statement: “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.”
According to the anti-graft agency, 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, Inducon Nigeria Limited and Statoil Nigeria Limited.
The prosecution led by Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN had arraigned the defendant on the 26th of July 2018 on three counts charge bothering on money laundering and forgery.