‘N4.8bn fraud’: Court adjourns case against Cletus Ibeto to May 27

A high court in Lagos state has adjourned the hearing of the case against Cletus Ibeto, a businessman, over alleged N4.8 billion fraud.

Oyindamola Ogala, the presiding judge, on Monday, adjourned the case to May 27 after Adedayo Oshodi, counsel to Ibeto, asked the court to move an application challenging its jurisdiction to hear the case.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed a 10-count charge against Ibeto, Ibeto Energy Development Company and Odoh Holdings.

The charge borders on obtaining by false pretence, fraudulent conversion of property, criminal breach of trust, forgery and deception.

In March, Kazeem Alogba, the chief justice of Lagos, reassigned the case to Ogala after a petition by Ibeto.

When the case resumed before Ogala in March, the EFCC and Ibeto were not present in the court, leading to the adjournment of the matter.

Ibeto has yet to appear before the court to take his plea despite challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.

During proceedings on Monday, Rotimi Jacob, the prosecution counsel opposed Oshodi’s application on the ground that the defendant had filed an appeal on the same issue before the court of appeal.

The prosecution counsel noted that the appellate is yet to decide on the case.

Jacob also said the court cannot entertain the application because the defendant has not submitted himself for trial.

However, Oshodi argued that the presence of the defendant is not necessary given the pending application.

After listening to both parties, the presiding judge ruled that a hearing of the defendant’s application would amount to nothing because the same issue is currently pending before the appellate court.

The judge held that it would be better to wait for the verdict of the appellate court on the matter before taking any further steps.

The judge then adjourned the matter to May 27.

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