Prosecution’s Absence Stalls Trial of Alleged Fraudulent Estate Agent, Muritala Adebayo


The absence of a prosecution witness, has stalled the trial of a 72-year-old man, Murtala Adebayo, ( (alias Oloriebi of Ajah) charged with defrauding his son-in-law of N19 million on the pretext of procuring him plots of land.

When the case we as called, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Counsel, Mr Babangida Isah, informed the Ikeja Special Offences Court that the second prosecution witness, an investigative officer (IO) was not present in court due to an official assignment.

Isah apologised to the court for the absence of the witness and he also prayed for short adjourned date for the continuation of trial.

“The matter is for continuation of trial but the investigative officer who is supposed to come today is on official assignment.

“We apologise to the court for his absence and we shall be praying for a short adjourned date.

“I have also spoken with defence on the new development.,” the prosecutor said.

The Defence Counsel, Mr Bamidele Ogundele, did not oppose the submission of the prosecution and he also confirmed to the court that he had been intimated about the absence of the witness.

Mr Gafar Ademolake, the complainant and also the son-in-law to the defendant, had on April 16 told the court how his father in-law allegedly defrauding him multimillion naira and cars under
the guise of selling plots of land to him.

EFCC had also on Jan. 24 arraigned the septuagenarian on a three-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence.

The defendant, had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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

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

It further alleged that the defendant collected two Toyota Camry (2005 model) and one Honda Accord (2006 model), valued at nine million Naira from the complainant as part of payment for the 18 plots of land at Ibeju, a presentation he knew to be false.

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

Justice Mojisola Dada thereafter, adjourned the case until July 2 for continuation of trial.