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  • News - South West - Lagos
  • Updated: April 15, 2024

Again, trial of Ibeto Energy Chairman's N4.8bn fraud case stalled

Again, trial of Ibeto Energy Chairman's N4.8bn fraud case st

The trial of the Chairman of Ibeto Energy Development Company, Chief Cletus Ibeto, who is facing charges of alleged N4.8 billion fraud brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has been adjourned till May 27, 2024, by Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja.

The adjournment came after the defendant's counsel, Adedayo Oshodi, prayed to move an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the charge.

Oshodi argued that the defendant's presence was not necessary due to the pending application.

However, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob, opposed the application, citing a pending appeal on the same issue before the Court of Appeal.

Jacob argued that the court should await the appellate court's decision before entertaining the jurisdictional challenge.

Considering both arguments, Justice Ogala ruled that hearing the defendant's application would be premature, as the same issue is pending before the appellate court. She stated that it would be prudent to await the Court of Appeal's verdict before proceeding further.

The EFCC had brought a 10-count charge against the defendant, including conspiracy, fraud, forgery, and fraudulent use of documents.

Despite the charges, the defendant is yet to appear before the court to enter his plea, as he has challenged the court's jurisdiction.

It's worth noting that a State High Court in Port Harcourt had previously ruled on a related matter, declaring Ibeto Energy Development Ltd as the rightful owner of the disputed land and ordering Chief Ibeto to make a refund to Sir Daniel Chukwudozie of Dozzy Oil.

Dissatisfied with the decision, Sir Daniel Chukwudozie appealed to the Court of Appeal Port Harcourt Division. However, while the appeal was pending, Sir Daniel Chukwudozie also filed a petition with the EFCC in Lagos, leading to criminal charges against Chief Cletus Ibeto.

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