Two property developers, Msheilia Julius Silas and Sabo Mohamed Jimeta have been arraigned by the Nigeria Police before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, for allegedly swindling a businessman, Abubakar Baba Zango, of the sum of N800-Million.
Also arraigned by the Police Special Fraud Unit, Milverton Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, is a Limited Liability Company, Jitau Investment Limited that was allegedly used to perpetrate the fraud.
The defendants are facing a three-count charge bordering on fraud, conspiracy to commit felony and obtaining money under false pretence.
The defendants pleaded not guilty, when the charges were read to them.
Consequently, the prosecution counsel, a senior police legal officer, Emmanuel Jackson, urged the Court to remand the defendants in the Correctional Services Centre, while a trial date is fixed.
In response, the defence counsel, Chief Joe Kyari Gadzama, urged the Court to admit the defendants to bail.
After listening to the Counsels’ positions, the presiding judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, admitted the defendants to a bail in the sum of N500-million with one surety in like sum.
Justice Oweibo also ordered that the surety must be a property owner within the jurisdiction of the Court.
The Judge equally remanded the defendants in police custody until the fulfillment of their bail conditions, and then adjourned the case till June 21, 2023 for commencement of trial.
The 3-count charge filed before the Court by another Police Counsel, Justice Enang, include:
That you, Mshelia Julius Silas ‘M’, Sabo Mohammed Jimeta ‘M’, Jitau Investment Ltd and others at large, sometimes in 2022, within the jurisdiction of the Lagos Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, with intent to defraud did conspire to commit felony to wit: obtaining money under false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act Number 14 of 2006.
That you, Mshelia Julius Silas ‘M’, Sabo Mohammed Jimeta ‘m’, Jitau Investment Ltd and others at large, sometimes in 2022, within the aforementioned Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, with intent to defraud did obtained the sum of 800,000,000.00 (Eight Hundred Million Naira) from one, Abubakar Baba Zango under the pretext that you have a property situated at No. 3 Bunu Sheriff Crescent, Katempe Extension, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory for sale and that once the agreed sum is paid into your nominated account of Jitau Investment Ltd, which you made use recklessly and benefit and subsequently converted to your use and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (i) No. (a) 14 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
That you, Mshelia Julius Silas ‘M’, Sabo Mohammed Jimeta ‘M’, Jitau Investment Ltd and others at large, sometimes in 2022, within the Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, did convert to your own use and benefits, the sum of N800,000,000.00 (Eight Hundred Million Naira) property of one, Abubakar Baba Zango, which sum you knew or reasonably ought to have known was the proceed of unlawful act, to wit: obtaining by false pretences from Abubakar Baba Zango and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 15 (2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.2011 as amended 2012.
Also, in the defense team were Barrister Oluniyi Adediji and four other lawyers.