Alleged N4.8bn fraud: New judge takes over Ibeto’s case

Chief Cletus Ibeto

An Ikeja High Court on Friday has ordered that hearing notice be served on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the case of a businessman, Chief Cletus Ibeto, charged with N4.8 billion fraud.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Oyindamola Ogala ordered that EFCC be served the hearing notice following their absence in court.

“This is a newly a re-assigned matter before this court and there is no representative of EFCC in court.

“All parties must be informed about the re-assignment of this case.

“Hearing notice to be served on all parties,” she said.

The judge adjourned the case until March 11, for further proceeding.

When the case was called on Friday, neither the prosecution, EFCC, nor the defendants was present in court.

The defence counsel, Mr Ade Oshodi, had informed the court there was no representation of EFCC in court.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr Babajide Martins, had appeared before the court as an interested party, pursuant to Section 211 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and due to the petition written by the defendants asking the State’s Attorney General to take over the case.

Martins had told the court that the case file was taken back from Justice Ismail Ijelu, by the chief judge.

EFCC had filed a 10-count charge against Ibeto, alongside his company, Ibeto Energy Development Company, before Justice Ismail Ijelu.

Ijelu had on Nov. 3, 2023, issued a bench warrant against Ibeto due to his incessant non appearance in court.

The case also suffered setback on Oct.5, 2023, when the EFCC Prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), informed the court of the absence of the defendant.

The case file was, therefore, re-assigned before Ogala.
The anti-graft commission said the alleged offences contravened the provision of Section 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act 2006 and Section 365(3d) and (e), 366 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. (NAN)