Justice Sherifat Solebo of a Special Offences Court, Ikeja-Lagos state, has issued a bench warrant against a Lagos Socialite, Waheed Gabadamosi Eletu Odibo, for his failure to appear before the court to take his plea on alleged criminal charge of N250 million fraud.
Other affected by the order is one Yemi Idowu and two companies; Aircom Nigeria Limited and STB Building Society.
Justice Solebo order was sequel to an application for the defendants’ arrest, filed and argued by the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Ahmed Yerima.
In asking Justice Solebo to grant the application, Yerima told that request for issuance of arrest warrant against all the was based on the order of another court, that dismissed a fundamental rights suit filed by the defendants against EFCC.
Yerima also told the court that following the dismissal of defendants’ suit against his Commission, they were charged to court on the alleged crimes.
Yerima said: “My lord, another court where the defendants filed a case of breach of fundamental human right against the Commission, ordered the defendant to appear before this court to face the charges against him and no right was breach by the commission.
“But has my lord can see they are not in court today, disobeying that order. In that circumstance, would be asking for a bench warrant against the all the defendants.
Justice Solebo, upon hearing the EFCC counsel’s request, issued the warrant against all the defendants.
Waheed Gabadamosi Eletu Odibo, Yemi Idowu, Aircom Nigeria Limited and STB Building Society are to face an 8 count charge bothering on stealing, obtaining money under false pretence
The offences which are contrary to section 278(1),(5)(a), 285(1)(b) 390, 390(1) and 419 of the criminal law of Lagos state of Nigeria 2011 and criminal code law of Lagos state of Nigeria 2003, respectively.
The defendants, according to the petition dated December 21, 2016, by the nominal complainants, the dou of Ononeyi Okonkwo and Mr Uchenna Anazodo, told the Commission about the alleged fraudulent sale of four plots of land situated at Osapa London, Lekki, Lagos State valued at about N250 million by persons believed to be acting for the Gbadamosi Eletu family, who conspired with prime movers and directors of one Aircom Nigeria Limited and STB Building Society
The petition further stated that some members of the Gbadamosi Eletu family from whom the nominal complainants purchased the land to have same land sold to them at higher price thereby supplanting the nominal complainants interest over the land.
The charge sheet against the defendants read: “that you Waheed Gabadamosi Eletu Odibo, Yemi Idowu, Aircom Nigeria Limited and STB Building Society, sometimes in 2013 at Lagos within the Ikeja judicial division, dishonestly converted for your own use 3 plot of land measuring 254,588 hectares, situated at Crystal Road, Osapa Village, Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos, property of Onononyi Patrick Okonkwo.
“That you, Waheed Gabadamosi Eletu Odibo, Yemi Idowu, Aircom Nigeria Limited and STB Building Society sometimes in 2013 at Lagos within the Ikeja judicial division, dishonestly converted for your own use 1 plot of land, measuring about 669,572 square meters, situated at Crystal Road, Osapa Village, Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos, property of Uchenna Temple Anazodo”.
Justice Solebo has adjourned the matter till May 13, 2020, for arraignment and trial of the defendants.