Law News
Court challenges EFCC on N800m land theft charges

Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to address her on the possibility that a parcel of land could be stolen.

The EFCC had on Thursday sought to arraign 10 persons, who were accused of stealing 10 hectares of land valued at N800m, before the judge.

But the suspects could not be arraigned as the judge said she needed to be addressed on the possibility that someone could steal a parcel of land.

She, therefore, adjourned the case till February 11, 2016 for the parties to address her on the issue, which she raised “suo moto.”

But before the adjournment, Justice Ipaye released four of the suspects who were brought to court from prison, on bail in the sum of N100, 000 each with two sureties in like sum.

In her ruling on the bail application, which was moved while the issue of arraignment was still being debated, the judge said she was convinced that the suspects were unlikely to abscond if admitted to bail.

The suspects in the charge filed by the EFCC are Moji Yakubu, MonanTrading Company Limited, Chief Muka Bajulaiye, Alhaja Ajimot Adisa and Alani Shirawu.

Others are Bajulaiye Hakeem, Akeem Giwa, Rachael Tokede, Adelaja Raji and Nuniru Mushafau.

The EFCC alleged that they conspired to steal a 10-hectare land located at Sangotedo, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, which belonged to one Joko Trade Estate Resources Limited.

The suspects, who allegedly committed the offence in 2013, were also accused of forging several documents to facilitate the alleged theft.

They were accused of forging a Deed of Assignment dated April 28, 2013 “with the intent that it may, in any way, be used or acted upon as genuine to prejudice another person.”

They were also accused of forging seven receipts in the name of one late Alhaji Usman Bajulaiye, which were dated February 7, 2005, April 22, 2005, August 25, 2005, November 29, 2005, March 8, 2006, May 11, 2005 and September 21, 2006 respectively.

The anti-graft agency, in the 11 counts filed against the suspects, claimed that the suspects violated, among others, sections 279 (1)(2), 278(1)(a) and 258(1) and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

Click here to read from source.