By Sandra Umeh
The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police on Wednesday charged three men with N120 million fraud before a Federal High Court, Lagos.
The defendants are Micheal Adebayo, Mukaila Fakos and Sefiu Adesina.
They are charged on six counts bordering on conspiracy, obtaining N120 million under false pretences, false presentation and forgery.
The defendants were charged before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke but their arraignment could not take place on Wednesday following an application by defence counsel, Mr O. Emawobia, challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the charge.
In the application, the counsel told the court that the same charge had been filed against the defendants before a Lagos Magistrate’s Court.
He argued that filing same at the Federal High Court would amount to “forum shopping”.
He urged the court to refuse the charge.
Responding, the prosecution counsel, CSP E. A. Jackson, prayed the court to dismiss the application.
He cited Section 395(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 which, he said, allowed all courts to reserve ruling on any objection to a charge until the end of the matter.
He urged the court to uphold Section 395(2) of ACJA, 2015, and take the plea of the defendants.
Justice Aneke adjourned the proceedings until March 7, for ruling on the preliminary objection.
In the charge Number FHC/L/70c/17, the police alleged that the defendants and others at large, sometime, in 2010, with the intent to defraud, received N120 million from one Mr Lanre Obisesan under the false pretences of selling to him a piece of land.
The defendants were also alleged to have falsely presented themselves to Obisesan as having the right, power and authority to sell the landed property located at 5c, Michael Ogun St, GRA, Ikeja, which belonged to one Chief Idowu Musiliu Balogun.
The defendants were also charged with forging a document entitled “Special Resolution of Musbal Nigeria Ltd.”, “Form CAC 7” and a document entitled “Consent Letter.
The alleged offences contravene the provisions of Sections 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act. 2006, and Section 2(c) of the Miscellaneous offences Act, 2004. (NAN)