Alleged N4.8bn fraud: Courtroom adjourns Cletus Ibeto’s trial

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Cletus Ibeto

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By Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos Excessive Courtroom sitting in Ikeja, on Thursday, July 4, 2024, adjourned until October 24, 2024 additional listening to within the alleged N4.8bn fraud trial involving Cletus Ibeto, Chairman, Ibeto Power Improvement Firm.

Ibeto alongside Ibeto Power Improvement Firm and Odoh Holdings Ltd are to be arraigned by the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee, EFCC, on 10-count expenses bordering on allegations of acquiring by false pretences, fraudulent conversion of property, prison breach of belief, forgery and deception to the tune of N4.8bn.

Rely one reads: “That Chief Cletus Ibeto, Ibeto Power Improvement Ltd and Odoh Holdings Ltd., between June 2016 and Could 2017, throughout the jurisdiction of the court docket, by false pretence and with intent to defraud, obtained from Dozzy Oil & Gasoline Ltd and Sir Daniel Chukwudozie, the sum of N4.8bn purporting similar to be consideration for 22.6536 hectares of land, which he claimed to have on the finish of Reclamation Highway Structure, Port Harcourt, Rivers State by a deed of sublease executed by Odoh Holdings and Ibeto Power Improvement Ltd when he solely had 7.9 hectares of the mentioned land.”

Rely three reads: “That Chief Cletus Ibeto, Ibeto Power Improvement Ltd and Odoh Holdings Ltd., on or about January 30, 2018, allegedly with intent to defraud, solid a Deed Of Sublease between Odoh Holdings Ltd and Ibeto Improvement Ltd purportedly, registered as No 47, Web page 47, Vol. 280 of the Lands Registry, Rivers State whereby they claimed that Odoh Holdings Ltd acquired leasehold curiosity in respect of twenty-two.6536.”

The defendants are additional accused of acquiring the sum of N2.5 billion from their victims as consideration for a non-existent 14.1 hectares of land.

The offences are opposite to Part 1 of the Advance Charge Fraud Act 2006, Part 365(3d) and (e), and Part 366 of the Legal Regulation of Lagos State, 2015.

At Thursday’s sitting, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, expressed considerations over the plans of the defence concerning the matter, given the truth that the defendant, slightly than showing in court docket for his arraignment, had chosen to barter with the Fee how one can pay again his debt.

In accordance with Jacobs, “ We have to know what their plans are. Are they planning to proceed with the litigation? Or do they wish to sit with the prosecution and complainant to barter an out-of-court settlement?

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“He has paid again a big a part of the cash, and we have to know whether or not we should always use it as an exhibit or take into account it his dedication to an out-of-court settlement as a result of they’ve continued to file completely different functions difficult the court docket’s competence to listen to the matter.”

Counsel to the defendant, Adebayo Oshodi, didn’t react to the submissions by the Jacobs. He, nevertheless, sought the depart of the court docket to re-list an utility difficult the court docket’s territorial jurisdiction.

Responding, Jacobs kicked in opposition to the prayer by the defence, saying the applying had been voluntarily withdrawn on the occasion of the defence staff earlier than it was struck out by the court docket.

“ It cannot be re-listed earlier than the identical court docket,” he added.

The judged upheld the argument of the prosecution counsel.

Although Justice Ogala additionally frowned on the transfer by the defendant, who has been assembly the EFCC investigators on methods to pay again the cash he allegedly owes the complainant as a substitute of showing in court docket

The decide, nevertheless, mentioned she wouldn’t touch upon the transfer by the prosecution and the defence to settle the matter out of court docket.

The case was adjourned until October 24, 2024 for additional listening to.

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