April 16, 2024

N4.8bn fraud: Court awaits A’Court verdict on Ibeto’s appeal on jurisdiction


By Innocent Anaba

A Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja has adjourned the trial of Chairman of Ibeto Energy Development Company, Chief Cletus Ibeto, who was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged N4.8 billion fraud, till May 27, 2024.

The judge, Justice Oyindamola Ogala fixed the new date for hearing in the case, due to the defendant’s counsel, Adebayo Oshodi, prayer to move an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the charge.

However, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob opposed the application on the ground that the defendant had filed an appeal on same issue before the Court of Appeal and the appellate was yet to decide on it.

Jacob insisted that court could not entertain the application because the defendant has not submitted himself for trial.
The prosecutor also informed the court that the defendant in his move for out of court settlement, had repaid the commission a total sum of N2 billion in instalments.

After listening to the parties, the trial judge, Justice Ogala ruled that hearing the defendant’s application would amount to nothing because the same issue was currently pending before the appellate court.

The judge held that it would be in the interest of the court to awaits Court of Appeal’s verdict on the matter before taking any further step on on the trial.

The EFCC had charged the defendants before the court on a 10-count charge of conspiracy, fraud, forgery and fraudulent use of documents.

Meanwhile, the appeal filed by the defendant at the Court of Appeal is slated for hearing on May 7, 2024.