Businessman allegedly swindled by MKO Abiola’s son falls sick in court

A Lagos-based printer, Babajide Jose, who was allegedly swindled of N35.5 million by Deji Abiola, the son of the late Moshood Abiola, took ill on Wednesday while testifying before an Ikeja High Court.

The trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, had to adjourn the matter to June 21, following Jose’s inability to continue with the cross-examination.

Mr. Jose was called to testify by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the accused, who is the second son of the late politician.

Earlier, while being led in evidence by EFCC prosecutor, Omeiza Adebola, the witness narrated to the court how Mr. Abiola had swindled his company, Nurudeen Printers Limited, Okota, Lagos.

Mr. Jose said sometime in March 2008, the company decided to buy a used Speed Master CD105 printing machine and was introduced to the accused.

“The accused told us that he had it and can get it for us and that the machine was in Switzerland.

“On May 10, 2008, he sent me an estimate of the machine that it will cost N118 million.

“The accused said that we will deposit 30 per cent of the money to show seriousness.

“Fifty per cent will be paid after inspection while the remaining balance of 20 per cent will be paid before the machine is dismantled for shipping to Nigeria,” he said.

The witness said Mr. Abiola promised to help him secure a visa to Switzerland for the inspection of the machine.

Mr. Jose claimed that on May 16, 2008, he issued a First Bank cheque of N35.5 million to Abiola, being the 30 per cent deposit the accused had requested for.

“After paying the money, I did not hear from him again for weeks and when I finally did, he told me that the machine was no longer in Switzerland but in Sweden.

“Deji wrote me a letter that the machine is going to cost us more money and requested for another 30 per cent deposit, which I refused.

“I became uncomfortable with the arrangement and so I wrote him back to refund the initial deposit of N35.5 million but he has not done so up till now,” he said.

He said the accused, after failing to help him procure the visa, told him in December 2008 that the initial deposit was lost because they did not inspect the machine.

“I cannot give N35.5 million to somebody and you just tell me that my money is gone because we did not carry out inspection,” the witness said.

Mr. Jose said this prompted him to petition the EFCC on April 17, 2009 before the matter was taken to court.

He, however, disclosed that Mr. Abiola had been making several efforts to settle the matter out-of-court since his arraignment on June 30, 2011.

“After going to the EFCC, the Oba of Lagos called a meeting between my daughter and his brother where he advised us to settle the matter amicably.

“We told him to pay us N20 million and take N15 million but nothing happened after that.

“Just last week, he promised that he will pay N10 million and this morning, his counsel, Chief Philip Jimoh-Lasisi, showed me a N10 million bank draft.

“The lawyer said I would be given the money if I write to the EFCC that I am withdrawing the case so that they can inform the court that they want to discontinue the trial,” Mr. Jose added.

The court admitted as exhibits copies of the estimate sent by Mr. Abiola to the complainant and the N35.5 First Bank Nigeria Plc cheque issued in his favour.

However, under cross-examination by Mr. Jimoh-Lasisi, the witness started shaking and he could no longer answer the questions he was being asked.

Mr. Jimoh-Lasisi, therefore, informed the court that there was no need to continue with the cross-examination, adding that both parties were already committed to an out-of-court settlement.

“The complainant (Jose) has already signed a compromise terms with my client and what is remaining is for him to write to the EFCC.

“The EFCC is the only person that has the discretion to tell the court that they want to discontinue with the matter.

“The bank draft is with me and on my honour, I am willing to give it to him immediately the case is discontinued,” he said.


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  • ROTIMI OLUKOGA

    DEJI ABIOLA A THIEF? NA WA O. JUST SPOILING HIS FATHER’S GOOD NAME.

  • Gwamna

    The good story there is that Deji is a thief like his father MKO the money MKO stole from government and P&T and ITT don finish!!!! Can you imagine the drama going on in the court?????? Nigeria is a failed country!!!!!! Common to prosecute this criminal is war for them!!!!!!!!! Can you imagine his format?????? from Switzerland to Sweden, this yahoo yahoo guy!!! Tell the EFCC to leave that young man caught the other who is waiting to be extradited to the US!!!!!

    He brought in funds, resources and shame!!!!!!
    Deji stole fellow citizen funds, resources and brought shame!!!!!

    Which of the two is far better?????????

  • Jjokocha247fotball

    I cannot believe this. What a shame to his family. Son of MKO Abiola defrauding fellow citizen!

  • I believe Fela’s son ITT International Thief Thief was based on MKO himself.

  • patriot

    Like late Gani Fawehinmi said, all these juju factors should be inculcated in the Nigeria law. This is what is at play here. why not pay the poor guy his 35.5million naira & let him be? It is unfortunate, that you cannot fight the rich & powerful in Nigeria, unless you are ready to waste your life. May God protect this poor man.

  • Mr Cool

    Fraud is in Deji’s DNA like his dad’s ITT loot song by Fela Kuti. The defrauded guy is a fool. Nobody pays that much for visa unless you are backward. Ode!! If you see a fool would you not treat him as one? As for Deji, that was how he was caught in a land property mess. The mistake MKO made was not to allow Deji and Co., to do DNA tests because he maybe the son of a bigger thief. Using juju on your opponent cannot be proved in court. The sick guy should go for prayers and not peg off!!