Cross River Man Docked for Stealing Late Justice Itam’s Abuja Property
By JUMOKE SANNI
The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned one Ikoi Ikpi Itam before Justice S. M. Shuaibu of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, on a four-count charge bordering on impersonation, forgery and criminal conversion of property worth N12, 000, 000. 00 (Twelve million naira).
One Iniobong Udoh had alleged in a petition, that the defendant fraudulently sold a property at Plot/Parcel J. 1st Avenue, Lugbe Estate, Abuja belonging to his (the defendant’s) late brother, late Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam.
Investigations revealed that, while the late Justice Itam was on secondment to the Republic of Gambia, he purchased two plots of land in Abuja (Plot/Parcel J. 1st Avenue, Lugbe Estate Abuja and Plot No. 32 1(W) Road, 1st Avenue, Lugbe Estate, Abuja) through his brother (the defendant). Upon the demise of his Lordship, the defendant, unsatisfied with the content of the last Will and Testaments of his late brother, transferred the title of the said properties to himself, forged Deed of Assignment of the said properties and sold one of them for N12m.
One of the counts reads: “That you Ikoi Ikpi Itam ‘M’ on or about the 3rd day of March, 2016 at Calabar within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did make a forged document to wit: DEED OF ASSIGNMENT in respect of a property situated at Plot 32, 1(W) Road, 1st Avenue, Lugbe Estate, Abuja bearing your name as the Assignee, knowing same to be false and with the intent that it may be acted upon as genuine and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (2) of the same Act”.
The defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. In view of his plea, Joshua Abolarin prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service.
The defence counsel, Nsikak Ekpeme however informed the court about the health condition of the defendant and applied by way of undertaking that, the defendant will be in his custody, pending the hearing of his bail application.
The court thereafter adjourned the matter till February 4, 2021 for hearing of bail application while the defendant was released to his counsel. Ekpeme who is to produce his client in count on the next adjourned date.