$4m fraud: Court denies Abebe’s request for release of seized passport


Justice Mojisola Dada of the Spe cial Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday, December 3, 2018, turned down an application by John Abebe, for the release of his international passports. Abebe is being prosecuted for an alleged $4m fraud.

Abebe is facing trial over a four-count charge of forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

In the application made orally, Abebe, through his counsel, E.D. Onyeke, sought the release of the passport to enable him travel to the United Kingdom, U.K.

Abebe’s lawyer told the court that his client lost his mother last night in the UK; hence, the request for the release of the passport.

However, in her response, Justice Dada ordered the defendant to file a formal application to the court.  “Your oral application is not welcome,” the Judge held.

Also, at today’s proceedings, a prosecution witness, Prof. Fidelis Odita, SAN, admitted that he did not confront the defendant with the original document of the Net Profit Interest Agreement (NPIA) in the suit filed at the Federal High court against the defendant.

Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Onyeke, the witness told the court that there was no reason to enter into another agreement with Abebe and his company, Inducon by  BP Exploration, after both parties had signed the termination agreement.

He said BP Exploration gave “a generous agency agreement to Inducon before the termination agreement was signed, while BP Exploration and Statoil were alliance partners.”

The witness further admitted to the court that the Net Profit Interest Agreement, NPIA, was an agreement to pay the defendant money.

He also admitted that the NPIA had been entered into by BP and Inducon before oil production activities started.

The case was adjourned to January 25, 2019 for continuation of trial.




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