An Assistant Chief Registrar of the Ikeja High Court, Mr Ademola Adekehin, on Tuesday narrated how he allegedly caught two men – Chijioke Ugwu and Ibrahim Adekunle, impersonating officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The duo is also accused of falsifying a court order to illegally obtain a property.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adekehin testified before an Ikeja Special High Court.
He is the first prosecution witness in the criminal trial of the defendants.
Ugwu and Adekunle are facing a four-count charge bordering on attempt to obtain property by false pretences, possession of document containing false pretences and impersonating public officers.
The suit was filed by the EFCC.
Led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, Adekehin said that a copy of the alleged forged court order was sent to him to confirm if it was sent from the court.
“I came across the names of the defendants in a letter addressed to the Chief Register dated 14th May 2021 from the EFCC.
“We checked our records and did not find the document and it did not come from court. On the face of the document, the heading is wrong.
“The suit number is that of the Federal High Court, and the name of the commissioner of oath is unknown.
“Fifth May 2021 fell on the date we were on strike. The cashier stamp is not the current stamp.
“There is no seal on the document; also, there is no court in Mushin which was the court on the face of the letter,” he testified.
Earlier the during the arraignment of the duo, the EFCC counsel, said the defendants committed the alleged offences on May 12 in Lagos.
“The defendants falsely represented themselves as officers of the EFCC and assumed to do the official act of the commission in a property known as G2, Flat 14, New Horizon Estate, Lekki, Lagos.
“Under false pretences and with intent to defraud, the defendants attempted to obtain property from one Mr Oriyomi Johnson.
“They falsely presented that the Chief Magistrate Court, Lagos State Judiciary, Mushin, Lagos, issued an order.
“The order was purportedly to the effect that the property located at new Horizon Estate, Ikate, Lekki, Lagos, be seized and the said apartment sealed pending the arrival of the said Johnson which representation they knew to be false,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the alleged offences contravene Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006 and Sections 78 and 79 (1)(b) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
Defence counsel, Mr Tosin Shoiga, via a bail application dated Sept. 30, asked the court to grant the defendants bail in liberal terms.
His application was not opposed by prosecution.
Justice Abike Fadipe, however, granted only Ugwu (first defendant) bail.
The judge held that due to improper documentation, Adekunle’s bail application would be heard on the next adjourned date.
Fadipe granted Ugwu bail in the sum of one million naira with two sureties in like sum.
The judge adjourned the case until Oct. 15 for cross-examination of witness.