John Abebe, an in-law of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has bagged a seven-year jail term for laundering and forgery. An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Saturday presided by Justice Mojisola Dada sentenced Abebe to seven-year imprisonment for laundering and forgery.
Justice Dada handed the judgement after it was established that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and convicted him accordingly.
The judge, however, handed Abebe an option of a fine of a million to be paid within 30 days in lieu of imprisonment.
Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had 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 attempting to pervert the course of justice before the Special Offences Court in Ikeja.
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It was gathered that The Nation reports that 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.
EFCC claimed that Abebe “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.”
Abebe according to the EFCC 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 Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited, and Statoil Nigeria Limited.
Recall that Statoil Nigeria Limited had on June 22, 2010, accused Abebe of forgery, alleging that he forged parts of a Net Profit Interest Agreement (NPIA) dated November 30, 1995, which was drafted by British Petroleum (BP).