Lagos State Special Offences Court has sentenced former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s in-law, Dr John Abebe to seven years of imprisonment for laundering and forgery.
Justice Mojisola Dada gave the judgment after it was established that the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Abebe, who is a younger brother to the late former First Lady, Stella Obasanjo, was arraigned for forgery by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Abebe was first arraigned on 26 July 2018, on a four-count charge of fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence, forgery, and attempting to pervert the course of justice before the court.
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An oil company, Statoil Nigeria Limited, had, on 22 June 2010, accused Dr Abebe of forgery. It alleged that the defendant forged parts of a Net Profit Interest Agreement, NPIA, drafted by British Petroleum, BP, and dated 30 November 1995.
The commission noted that the ‘Buy-Out Option’ only applies to the pre-production stage of the NPIA. The $4m buyout is thus irrelevant from the production of oil in any of our fields.
Also, EFCC added that the businessman attempted to “pervert the course of justice by tendering the allegedly forged 30 November 1995 letter as fabricated evidence in court, in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/224/2010 between Inducon Nigeria Limited, Dr John Abebe and Statoil Nigeria Limited.”
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Justice Dada gave the convict an option fine of N50 million to be paid within 30 days in lieu of imprisonment.