An Ikeja Special Offences Court 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 N250 million fraud.
Others affected by the order is one Yemi Idowu and two companies; Aircom Nigeria Limited and STB Building Society.
Justice Sherifat 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.
Yerima told the court that the request for issuance of arrest warrant against the defendants was based on the order of another court, that dismissed a fundamental rights suit filed by the defendants against EFCC.
Yerima said following the dismissal of defendants’ suit against the 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 as 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 submission of the EFCC counsel, granted his request and issued bench warrant against the defendants.
Waheed Gabadamosi Eletu Odibo, Yemi Idowu, Aircom Nigeria Limited and STB Building Society are to face an eight-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 a petition dated December 21, 2016, by the nominal complainants, the duo of Ononeyi Okonkwo and Mr Uchenna Anazodo, had told the commission about an alleged fraudulent sale of four plots of land situated at Osapa Village, 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, have sold same land to them at higher price thereby supplanting the nominal complainants interest over the land.
Justice Solebo has adjourned the matter till May 13, 2020, for arraignment and trial of the defendants.