The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned a businessman, John Abebe, for alleged forgery.

Abebe, younger brother of the late former First Lady, Stella Obasanjo, was arraigned on four counts before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja.

In the charges, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) claimed that Abebe “knowingly forged” a November 30, 1995 letter written by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited to Inducon (Nigeria) Ltd.

EFCC claimed that the businessman illegally inserted into Page 2 of the said letter, the following words: "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."

According to the EFCC, Abebe also 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 Dr. John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited and Statoil Nigeria Limited.

The EFCC accused him of making 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.

The EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that by attempting to pervert the course of justice, Abebe violated Section 126 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.

The prosecutor added that forgery was a violation of Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.

But when the charges were read the businessman on Thursday, he pleaded not guilty.

While adjourning the case to enable the defence counsel, Mr Uche Nwokedi (SAN), to file an application for his client’s bail, Justice Mojisola Dada ordered that Abebe should be remanded in Ikoyi Prison and adjourned the case to August 2  for bail application. 

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