N950m Fraud: Court Overrule Attempt by Young Alhaji Foundation to Truncate Trial

Justice Mojisola Dada of a Special Offences Court in the Ikeja area of Lagos State has overruled an attempt by the defence team of a suspected fraudster, Alhaji Usman Abubakar and his company, Young Alhaji Foundation, to truncate the continuation of their trial for an alleged N950 million fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned Alhaji Usman Abubakar alongside Young Alhaji Foundation on a five-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and stealing to the tune of Nine hundred and fifty million naira (N950m).

At the resumption of the trial today, the counsel for the second defendant, G.C. Ugwunweze, informed the court of his application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.

Responding, the EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, who acknowledged service on the prosecution in the courtroom by 9.42 am, urged the court to discountenance it.

“My submission is that this application cannot truncate the hearing of this case, we have left the primitive age where such objections affect trials,” he argued.

In the same vein, the first defendant’s counsel, Olatubosun Olanipekun, SAN, had also earlier in the course of proceedings raised much dust that documents given to the defence by the prosecution had no evidence of payment as part of procedures for certification of public documents, despite arguments that the EFCC as a government agency could not pay itself for certifying its documents.

After several arguments from both parties, the prosecution obliged him original copies in open court, as ordered by the court, for him to cross-examine the lead witness.

The witness, Adeniyi Oyewole, Managing Director of Ano Farms Limited, had last adjourned date on May 2, 2023, while being led in evidence by the counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, testifying as the first prosecution witness, narrated how his paths crossed that of the defendant when he was in search of foreign exchange “to facilitate importation”.

He had testified that he got to know Abubakar, through one Dr. Abu Fawaz, who lives in Ghana, and that he transferred the N950 million to the bank account of the Young Alhaji Foundation, which was forwarded to him by Fawaz.

At today’s proceeding, under cross-examination by Olanipekun, he again reaffirmed his testimony that Fawaz linked him up with the defendant and that he thereafter transferred the money to him.

During cross-examination, he asserted that the said account belonged to Young Alhaji Foundation.

He testified that he also traveled to Ghana to meet Fawaz one-on-one.

He added that when the dollar equivalent was not forthcoming, Fawaz told him that Young Alhaji had been instructed to return the funds.

“This I communicated to Young Alhaji over the phone, and to prove that I was in Ghana, I snapped and sent my boarding pass to him via WhatsApp,” he said.

He again asserted under cross-examination, that Alhaji Usman told him that he was “expecting the money as debt owed him by an organization in Australia, that they owed him $12 million for a transaction he did in 2019, and that the balance was going to be paid to him in case in Guinea Conakry where he has a goldmine.

According to him, Abubakar was angered about the lien placed on his account.

Subsequently, the second defendant’s counsel prayed for an adjournment to enable him to get familiar with the documents tendered to enable him cross-examine the witness.

The prayer was granted and the court adjourned till June 19, 2023.






Wahab Akinlade

Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button
Verified by MonsterInsights