The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force from Milverton, Ikoyi, Lagos today arraigned two property developers Msheilia Julius Silas and Sabo Mohamed Jimeta alleged to have swindled a Nigerian businessman Abubakar Baba Zango to the tune of N800 million before a Federal high court in Lagos south west Nigeria.
Also arraigned alongside, the two defendants is a limited liability company Jitau Investment Limited alleged to have been used to perpetrate the fraud.
When the charge was read to them, they pleaded not guilty, consequently, a senior police legal officer Emmanuel Jackson leading another police lawyer, Barrister Justice Enang urged the court to remand them to correctional services, while the trial day should be fixed.
However, the defence counsel, Chief Joe Kyari Gadzama, leading Barrister Oluniyi Adediji and four other lawyers urged the court to admit the defendants to bail, but the police prosecutor, Barrister Jackson vehemently opposed the bail application.
After listening to the argument of the two parties, Chief Gadzama for the defendants and Barrister Jackson for prosecution, the presiding judge, Nicholas Oweibo, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of 500 million with one surety in like sum. The surety must be a property owner within the jurisdiction of the court. The defendants were ordered to be remanded in police custody until they fulfilled their bail conditions.
Thereafter, Justice Oweibo adjourned till the 21st of June,2023 when the trial of the defendants will commence.
A three-count charge was filed before the court by Barrister Justice Enang.
COUNT 1: That you Mshelia Julius Silas ‘m’, Sabo Mohammed Jimeta ‘m’, Jitau Investment Ltd and others at large, sometime in 2022, within the jurisdiction of the Lagos Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, with intent to defraud did conspire to commit felony to wit: obtaining money under false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act Number 14 of 2006.
COUNT 2: That you Mshelia Julius Silas ‘m’, Sabo Mohammed Jimeta ‘m’, Jitau Investment Ltd and others at large, sometime in 2022, within the aforementioned Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, with intent to defraud and obtain the sum of 800,000,000.00 (Eight Hundred Million Naira) from one Abubakar Baba Zango under the pretext that you have a property situated at No. 3 Bunu Sheriff Crescent, Katempe Extension, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory for sale and that once the agreed sum is paid into your nominated accounts of Jitau Investment Ltd which you made use recklessly and benefit and subsequently converted to your use and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(i) No. (a) 14 of the Advance fee fraud and other related offences and punishable under Section Other 1(3) Fraud of the same Act.
COUNT 3: That you Mshelia Julius Silas ‘m’, Sabo Mohammed Jimeta ‘m’, Jitau Investment Ltd and others at large, sometime in 2022, within the Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, did convert to your use and benefits, the sum of N800,000,000.00 (Eight Hundred Million Naira) property of Abubakar Baba Zango, which sum you knew or reasonably ought to have known was the proceed of an unlawful act, to wit: obtaining by false pretences from Abubakar Baba Zango and thereby committed an offence punishable Act, under Section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.2011 as amended 2012.