A lawyer walks through the compound at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi district in Lagos, Nigeria, May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Reuters

Lagos State High Court, yesterday, adjourned the trial of a businessman, Babatunde Rabiu, who allegedly defrauded his partner, Musa Idris, of N100 million.

The suspect was arraigned before Justice Mojisola Dada, for fraudulent conversion and obtaining by false pretence on April 15, and was remanded.

During the resumed hearing, the plaintiff recounted to the court the business transaction which led to his being defrauded by Rabiu.

He revealed that the defendant, who imports fairly used vehicles, requested in December 2016, the sum of N70 million from him to clear the vehicles from the port.

He said he gave him but never heard from him until six months later, when he re-surfaced to demand an extra N30 million, making the total N100 million.

Idris told the court that he started suspecting Rabiu when he became out of reach and no longer picked his calls. He said he went to the port where the vehicles were allegedly cleared, only to discover that he had been defrauded after he was told by the customs officers that the vehicles were seized and impounded by the authorities on April, 21, 2017.

He said Rabiu was never seen or heard from until he was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in March, 2019.

Counsel to the defendant, Paul Akonoji (SAN), appealed to the court to grant his client bail based on health conditions.

He told the court that Rabiu was diagnosed with acute asthma and hypertension, and was placed under close medical care for further treatment.

Rabiu, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

He was granted bail based on health conditions and ordered to be released to his lawyer.

Justice Dada adjourned the trial till May 25.

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