Home News Alleged N4.8bn Fraud: Court Adjourns Ibeto’s Appeal

Alleged N4.8bn Fraud: Court Adjourns Ibeto’s Appeal

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A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division on Tuesday adjourned till September 16, 2024, the hearing of the appeal filed by the Chairman of Ibeto Energy Development Company, Cletus Ibeto.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

The case which was previously before Justice I.O. Ijelu of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, had been adjourned on several occasions due to the absence of the defendant to take his plea to the 10-count charges preferred against him by EFCC.

Ibeto was charged alongside his two companies, Ibeto Energy Development Company and Odoh Holdings Ltd.

Justice Ijelu had, on November 3, 2023, declared Ibeto wanted based on the application moved by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).

READ ALSO: Court suspends bench warrant orders made against Ibeto

Ijelu had also issued a bench warrant for his arrest. However, when the case came up on January 29, the court informed all parties involved that the case file had been returned to the Chief Judge of the State High Court.

The case file was thereafter re-assigned to Justice Oyindamola Ogala.

Ibeto had approached the appellate court, following the bench warrant issued against him by Justice Ijelu prior to his arraignment.

READ ALSO: Alleged N4.8bn fraud: Court awaits A’Court verdict to hear Ibeto’s application on jurisdiction

The defendant had also approached the appellate court to challenge the jurisdiction of the Lagos State High Court to try him for the alleged N4.8 billion fraud.

“At Tuesday’s proceedings, the appellate court presided over by Justice Muhammed Mustapha adjourned the appeal pending the report of the ongoing negotiations between the EFCC and the defendant,” the statement read.

“Also, Justice Mustapha and other panel members, Justice Abdullahi Mahmud Bayero and Justice Paul Bassi, suspended the enforcement of the bench warrant issued on November 3, 2023 against the appellant by Justice Ijelu.”

EFCC said the suspension came following the submissions by Ibeto’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and counsel to the EFCC, Adebisi Adeniyi, who informed the court that the parties were in the process of settling the matter and that the appellant had refunded about N1.7 billion to the Commission.

READ ALSO: N4.8bn fraud: Judge returns Ibeto’s case file to Lagos chief judge

Olanipekun also urged the court to set aside the bench warrant against his client.

In a short ruling, Justice Mustapha held that “The bench warrant is now suspended, and we encourage parties to continue with the negotiations until the next adjourned date of September 16.”



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