Man describes how father-in-law allegedly duped him of cars, money

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A prosecution witness, Mr Gafar Ademolake, on Tuesday, told an Ikeja Special Offences Court how his 72-year-old father-in-law, Muritala Adebayo, (alias Oloriebi of Ajah) allegedly defrauded him of three cars and some millions of naira.

Ademolake, who was led in evidence by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr Babangida Isah, told Justice Mojisola Dada that Adebayo, who he met about 11 years ago, was also an estate agent.

He testified at the  trial of his father-in-law for fraud and obtaining by false pretences.

The witness said that the defendant called him one day and said that he should be buying plots of land from him.

According to the witness, he gave the defendant    N300,000 and N400, 000 before he (the defendant) demanded for additional one million Naira which he paid him.

He said: “The defendant is the father of my wife, and I met him around 11 years ago, and he said I should be using gains from a business I was doing to be getting land from him.

“I started with N300, 000, N400, 000 in several tranches, and it got to a time when he said I should give him one million Naira, which I did.

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“He also gave me a bank account number of his personal assistant, one Mr Goddy, on a particular day, and I told him I could only do a little transfer.

“I took N450, 000 to Baba’s office that day and I later asked him if he had other landed property.”

The witness further  told  the court  that  the defendant told him that he had plots of land around Ayegbami and Eleko in Lagos State, and  promised to give him 18 plots from there.

He said: “I told him that there was need for us to seal our business deals; so, he paid N3.5 and million for the first three plots of land in Ogombo in Ajah, and he wrote receipts for the 18 plots of land.

“I never new that things would go wrong between us until he introduced me to one Mr Akin.

“He called Akin said they wanted to sell one estate behind Falling Rain Estate, and it was N7.5 million.

“I paid N1.5 million cash that day to Baba Muritala Adebayo. After that, I paid another one million Naira. The  total  amount I paid  was N3.5 million.”

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The witness further told the court that the  Mr Akin warned him against paying money to the defendant as he was removing a  ‘ridiculous’ amount as commission.

The witness said that the defendant  denied collecting any commission.

He told the court that after two years of securing the land, he discovered that the land had been taken over by another estate developer.

The witness told the court that on discovery of an encroachment on his property, he lodged a complaint to the defendant  but  the defendant asked him to call a man simply identified as Mr Goddy, and promised to give him another land.

He said  that he had taken him to some places for the recovery of the 18 plots of land to no avail.

When the  witness was being cross-examined by defence counsel, Mr Bamidele Ogundele, about documents to authenticate his claims, the witness said he had all the receipts of all payments made by him.

An attempt by the prosecution counsel to tender  the receipts through the witness during the cross-examination was rejected  by the court.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that EFCC, on Jan. 24, arraigned the defendant on a three-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretences.

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The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The commission alleged that  the defendant, with an intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N4.5 million from Ademolake by falsely informing him that the payment was for three plots of land at Ogombo  Ajah in Lagos State, a presentation he knew to be false.

EFCC added that the defendant  collected N5.5 million from the complainant as part-payment for 18 plots of land in Ayogbemi Village in Ibeju-Lekki, which he knew to be false.

It further alleged that the defendant collected two Toyota Camry (2005 model) and one Honda Accord (2006 model), valued at nine million Naira from the complainant as part of payment for the  18 plots of land at Ibeju, a presentation he knew to be false.

According to EFCC, the alleged offences contravene Section 1(3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

They adjourned the case until May 14 for continuation of trial.

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