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Counsel’s Absence Stalls Trial Of Alleged Land Racketeers



The trial of alleged land racketeer, Moses Erih and his company, Micmerab Resources Nigeria Limited (suspects) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been stalled by the absence of the defence counsel in court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the accused in High Court 30 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Apo headed by Justice Baba Shaini on four-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence.

Erih is a director in Micmerab Resources Nigeria Limited.  The prosecution (EFCC) was represented by its counsel, Richard Dauda of the commission’s Legal and Prosecution Department.

One of the charges read that sometimes in 2007 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the court, with intent to defraud and obtain by false pretence property situated at Plot ED 22, Sabon Lugbe East Layout, Abuja via a document captioned: “Estate Development Lease Agreement” between Messrs Uche Okoronkwo and Obi Okoronkwo Company Limited (complainant) and the accused on September 13, 2007, purportedly executed by the complainant, which pretence, they knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to S.1 (1) (1a) and punishable under S.1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006.

The accused also reportedly forged a certain document to wit: “An Estate Development Agreement” between the accused and the complaint, Messrs Uche Okoronkwo & Obi Okoronkwo with intent to cause the complainant to part with the same property in the same land and therefore committed an offence contrary to S 363 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, LFN (Abuja), 1990 and punishable under S.364 of the same law.

EFCC also said in the same 2007, the accused and his company “knowingly had in their possession a forged document i.e “Estate Development Agreement” between him, his company and the complainant, intending that same shall fraudulently, be used as genuine and thereby committed an offence punishable under S. 368 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532 LFN (Abuja) 1990.”

When the case was called, the accused pleaded with the court that their lawyer’s car broke down on his way to the court and the case was adjourned to October 5, 2023 for definite hearing.

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