EFCC arraigns virtually impaired man over alleged N19m land fraud


By Adenike Ayodele

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arraigned a 72- year-old virtually impaired man, Murtala Adebayo for allegedly defrauding a man of N19 million.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adebayo was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretext before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

The defendant, whose residential address was not provided, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The EFCC counsel, Mr Babangida Isah thereafter urged the court for a trial date given his not guilty plea.

The defence counsel, Mr Bamidele Ogundele, however, informed the court of a bail application dated Jan. 24 but the prosecution informed the court that it needed time to go through the bail summon.

Ogundele thereafter prayed for a short adjournment to enable him to move the application.

According to him, the defendant has health issues and is virtually impaired.

“We pray for a short adjournment for the bail application to be heard because of his health status my lord.

“He is a 72-year-old man and he is blind.

“We also pray that the defendant is in EFCC custody because of the state of his health so that his doctor can attend to him there,” he said.

Earlier, the prosecution told the court that the defendant allegedly committed the offences in 2015 and 2019, respectively in Lagos.

Isah said that the defendant, with an intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N4.5 million from one Mr Gafar Ademolake by falsely informing him that the payment was for three plots of land at Ogombo  Ajah in Lagos, a presentation he knew to be false.

The prosecutor submitted that the defendant also collected the sum of N5.5 million from the complainant as part of the payment for 18 plots of land in Ayogbemi Village in Ibeju-Lekki, which he knew to be false.

He further alleged that the defendant collected two Toyota Camry 2005 Model cars and one Honda Accord 2006 Model, valued at N9 million from the complainant that the payment was for the balance of the 18 plots of land in Ibeju, a presentation he knew to be false.

According to the prosecutor, the alleged offences contravene Section 1(3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case until Feb 9 for a hearing of the bail application.

Dada ordered that the defendant should remain in EFCC custody pending the hearing and determination of his bail application. (NAN)