N2m Land Scam: Court Docks Ogun Monarch

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Olaoluwa Folalu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday arraigned the Baale of Lemode community in Ogun State, Chief Ijaola Hesekiah before Justice O.H. Oshodi of the Lagos State High court Ikeja, on a one-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence.

Chief Hesekiah is accused of swindling one Mrs. Adenike Balogun of N2, 000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) by re-selling a plot of land he had sold to one Najimu Abioye, to her.

When the charge was read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty.

The charge reads, “that you, Chief Ijaola Hesekiah on or about 11th July, 2014 at Ikeja, within the Ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N2, 000, 000.00 (Two Million Naira) as payment from Mrs. Adenike Balogun by falsely representing yourself as a person capable of selling to her 40ft by 120th plot of land at No. 23b Omoniyi Street, Ijaola Street, new Lemode town, Ogun State”.

In view of the plea, the prosecution counsel, Fadekemi Giwa asked the court for a trial date and to remand the defendant in prison custody.

The defence counsel, Aloyinlapa Adeyemo however presented an oral bail application for his client which was opposed by the prosecution.

Justice Oshodi, however, sustained the objection by the prosecution while trial commenced with the prosecution calling the first witness.

Mr. Nwikega Gbenekana, who is an operative of the EFCC, told the court how the complainant, Adenike Balogun gave the defendant N2,000,000.00 for plot of land.

He also told the court that when investigation commenced, EFCC found out that the defendant had sold the same plot of land to one Najimu Abioye, who frequently threatened the complainant to stop developing the land, after the complainant had spent over N1,500,000.00 (One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) in developing the property.

The witness further told the court that, after the defendant was arrested, a meeting was setup amongst the defendant, Najimu Abioye, the Olu of Lemode, Adisa Shokunbi and the complainant for a resolution.

According to the prosecution witness, the complainant demanded for her money at the end of the meeting as she was no longer interested in the plot of land, and the defendant promised to refund her money within three months.

But Nwikega disclosed that the defendant disappeared after he was admitted to administrative bail by the EFCC.

Justice Oshodi adjourned the matter to October 26, 2017 for continuation of trial and remands the defendant in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail application conditions.

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