EFCC tackles oil firm, ex-accountant in court over Lekki land
A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former accountant with Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Michael Adenuga, yesterday told a Lagos High Court at Igbosere that the accused person of irregularities in payment of N13m for registration of 17.5 hectares of land.
Head of the legal unit at the Lagos State Land Bureau, Emmanuel Akande, made the allegation while testifying at the resumed trial of Adenuga before Justice Yetunde Ogunsanya.
The defendants were alleged to have converted 22.68 hectares of land in Lekki area of Lagos between February 2008 and September 2011 to their personal use.
The property has been the subject of three-count charge of stealing, forgery and use of false documents preferred against Adenuga and his firm, Covenant Apartment Complex Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC said Covenant Sugarland Property Development Limited and one Sunday Oyeniran jointly owned the property located on Ayetoro Ikota in Lekki.
Led in evidence in prosecution by Babatunde Sonaiki, Akande told the court that the defendants paid N13 million for the registration of deeds of assignment, which should have cost over N26 million due to the size of the land.
He disclosed that part of the land, which was obtained with the governor’s consent, fell within committed lands and doubted the authenticity of the registration.
Adenuga also said although the deeds of assignment were registered at the Land Registry, the files were not found during the course of his investigation.
He stressed that the investigation of the deeds of assignment was sequel to EFCC’s request on the matter, where he found that although the deeds of assignment was registered, its consent was not properly granted.
But during cross examination, the defence counsel asked the witness whether he did a report on the outcome of his investigation, to which he said no.
They were also accused of forging a document titled: Contract of Sale between Covenant Apartment Limited and Kingview Realty Limited, to facilitate the fraud.
The EFCC further alleged that Adenuga later presented the said document to one James Buzugbe, as genuine, maintaining that the offences contravened sections 278 (1) and 285 (b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
Earlier, the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) had through an application dated December 21, 2017, urged the court to sever 3.7 hectares of land from the disputed 22,000 hectares saying it was its property as a result of the defendants’ indebtedness to WEMA Bank, which was it later acquired as a bad loan.
But the EFCC objected to the application on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction and that the constitution only authorised the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the states to meddle with ongoing criminal trial.
Ruling on the application and further hearing on the matter was fixed for June 4, 2018.
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