Justice Mojisola Dada of an Ikeja Special Offences Court has sentenced former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s in-law Dr. John Abebe to seven-year imprisonment for laundering and forgery.
Justice Dada however gave the convict an option of fine of N50million to be paid within 30days in lieu of imprisonment.
The trial judge handed the judgement after it was established that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and convicted him accordingly.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Abebe, who is a younger brother to the late former First Lady, Stella Obasanjo for forgery.
The prosecution led by Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) arraigned the convict on July 26, 2018 on a four-count charge of forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice before the Special Offences Court in Ikeja.
The EFCC, in the charges, claimed that Abebe “knowingly forged” a November 30, 1995 letter written by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited to Inducon (Nigeria) Limited.
The anti-graft agency claimed that the businessman “illegally inserted” into page 2 of the said letter “the following statement: “Also note that the ‘Buy-Out Option’ only applies to the pre-production stage of the NPIA. The $4m buy-out is thus irrelevant from production of oil in any of our fields.”
According to the EFCC, Dr. Abebe also attempted to “pervert the course of justice” by tendering the allegedly forged November 30, 1995 letter “as a fabricated evidence” in court, in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/224/2010 between Dr. John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited and Statoil Nigeria Limited.
An oil company, Statoil Nigeria Limited had on June 22, 2010, accused Dr Abebe of forgery.
Statoil Nigeria Limited had alleged that the defendant forged parts of a Net Profit Interest Agreement (NPIA) dated November 30, 1995, which was drafted by British Petroleum (BP).