Traditional Ruler of Megida Town In Messy Land Fraud, Offer Gratification

A traditional ruler of Megida Town, Ayobo-Ipaja, Lagos, Lagos State, Prince Adeniran Owen Alao has been indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for alleged land fraud and offering of gratification to a public officer to pervert the course of justice.

This was said by the prosecution witness Daniel Danladi at the resume of his trial while being led in evidence by lead prosecution counsel Ayanfeoluwa Ogunshina before a Lagos High Court presided over by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo.

The defendant who is a retired army captain, is standing trial alongside, Kolusade Oluwafemi, Quadri Lukman and Atinuse Albert, Owerser Nigeria Limited, on a four-count charge bordering on stealing, offering gratification to a public official, corruption and abuse of office.

Alao and co-defendants are alleged to also involved in a land fraud of 101 acres belonging to the Federal Government.

At the commencement of trial, Danladi, an investigator and forensic expert with EFCC narrates the outcome of their investigation over the alleged fraud.

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Danladi told court that there were inflows from account of first defendant, Alao to influence the matter in other court.

He told the court that the forensic analysis that was carried out on his phones were extracted and burned into a CD, and some documents were printed out.

“We forensically examined two phones of the first defendant, and text messages, voice calls, and other telephone information were recovered.

“The extracted information were analysed. The second defendant was sending various accounts details to the first defendant.

“First defendant made payments into account supplied by the second defendant,” the witness said.

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The prosecuting counsel presented the documents before the court and sought to tender in evidence a compact disc (CD) containing information, analysis and extractions from the first defendant’s two phones.

He prayed the court to admit them in evidence.

In counter reaction, the defence counsel, S. Opara opposed the admissibility of the documents on the grounds that the proof of evidence tendered were not attached to those earlier served on the defendants.

The judge queried the prosecution: “Mr. Ogunshina, how come they are just seeing it for the first time? You ought to have front loaded it.

EFCC counsel explained that he was going to show the content in court but Opara countered him, saying, “On the issue of CD, we are just seeing for the first time, the prosecution has not laid foundation for admissibility.”

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The judge admitted the certified statements from the prosecution but ordered that he served the defence team.

Addressing the court, counsel to one of the parties, Opara said: “We shall not be objecting to the letter from the Ministry of Communication dated 10 January 2018, statement from Access Bank, Union Bank letter dated 27th February 2018, adding that he was not objecting to statement of account of Quadri Lukman (the fourth defendant) dated 27th February 2018.

He also did not object to sthe tatement of Oludare Ezekiel from GTB.

He however opposed the statement of the fourth defendant from Access and Union banks because it wasn’t front-loaded.

In his ruling, the judge held that the defence team would not be allowed to cross-examine the witness until the document is served on them.

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The court, however, admitted in evidence the letter dated 10th January 2018 from the then Minister of Communication which was marked as exhibit M.

The court also admitted the statement of account of Olufemi Adetoyese Access Bank dated 26th July 2018 and marked it exhibit N, statement of account of Sobowale Olatunde and Olusade Adetoyese from Wema Bank marked it exhibit O, statement of account for Atinuse Albert, was marked exhibit P, statement of account of Quadri Lukman from Union Bank marked exhibit Q and his other statement of account from Access Bank marked exhibit R.

Subsequently, Justice Taiwo adjourned till 29th April 2022 for cross-examination of the prosecutor witness

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.

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