The younger brother to a former first lady of Nigeria, late Stella Obasanjo, has been remanded in prison.
The order to remand John Abebe was made by a Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja on Thursday, July 26, over alleged forging of documents belonging to an oil company.
Premium Times reports that the judge over the matter, Mojisola Dada ordered that the suspect be kept in Ikoyi Prison till August 2, the next adjourned date, for Uche Nwokedi to file an application for Abebe’s bail.
Abebe had earlier pleaded not guilty to the four-count charges levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The commission in the charges, alleged that Abebe “knowingly forged” a November 30, 1995, letter written by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited to Inducon (Nigeria) Ltd.
The EFCC said Abebe illegally inserted into page 2 of the said letter that: “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.”
It was also alleged that the businessman 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 John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited, and Statoil Nigeria Limited.
He was accused of an attempt to mislead the court by using fabricated evidence contrary to Section 120 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.
Also, Rotimi Oyedepo, a counsel for the EFCC informed the court that by attempting to pervert the course of justice, Mr Abebe violated Section 126 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.
Oyedepo said that forgery was a violation of Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.
Mean while, we previously heard report that a Lagos High Court had dismissed the suit instituted by a Norwegian oil firm, Statoil Nigeria Limited, against Abebe and his company, Inducon Nigeria Limited.
The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal, last month had dismissed the appeal filed by Statoil to challenge the judgment of a Federal High Court that it should pay Abebe and his company 1.5 per cent of its profit accruable from the three oil blocks allocated to it by the federal government.
Justice Hellen Ogunwumiju who led the panel of Justice at the appeal court said that it would amount to an injustice if Abebe and his company were not paid the amount knowing full well that he brought the foreign oil firm to Nigeria to exploit crude oil.