EFCC arrests Gbajabiamila over fraud as court adjourns case
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, arrested 63-year-old Suleiman Gbajabiamila.
Gbajabiamila was last year arraigned on a two-count charge for defrauding a United Kingdom-based Nigerian, Lateef Adeyemo, of the sum of N30 million.
According to the charge, Gbajabiamila, who presented himself as an estate agent in 2021, fraudulently collected and converted to his own use, the money meant to purchase a two-bedroom flat for Adeyemo between September and October 2021.
The suspect, said to have been at large for months, was first arraigned before Chief Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun, on charges bordering on stealing and false presentation, an offence punishable under Section 287 of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015.
The police claimed that Gbajabiamila was on a transaction spree during the period and some of the bank transfers were between him and his wife.
According to the police in charge of the matter, the victim also paid a sum of N150,000 for the culprit to be tracked, but it was difficult to track Gbajabiamila down because he decided to be offline.
However, he put on his phone on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 and he was tracked.
Gbajabiamila was first arraigned on June 20, 2022, and the case was adjourned to July 25, 2022.
In October 2022, Chief Magistrate Olatunbosun remanded Gbajabiamila in Ikoyi Correctional centre till January 2023, but was released on December 24, 2022.
At the resumption of the case yesterday, Gbajabiamila’s counsel asked for adjournment to enable the parties settle the matter, a plea the presiding judge obliged.
The case was adjourned until April 5, 2023 for continuation.
Gbajabiamila told The Guardian that he did some bad investment with the money and could not explain what happened, he added that he is willing to plead for settlement and spread the payment of the money to the victim.
Drama, however, ensued after the court proceeding as the EFCC asked Gbajabiamila who had already boarded a vehicle to come down and was bundled inside a waiting vehicle; and then men of the anti-graft agency drove off with him.
The victim accused Gbajabiamila of playing pranks to evade justice.
He said: “According to the last court pronouncement, he was supposed to be out of prison today (yesterday) for the hearing but he had been released in December 2022. He has been using the name and influence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.”