A top Lagos lawyer who has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has cried out accusing Buhari of persecuting him.
Popular Lagos Lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa
A top Lagos lawyer and activist, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, denied allegations tabled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as he said he is being persecuted for speaking against President Muhammadu Buhari’s adminstration.
He made this know through his law firm as he denied allegation of obtaining money under false pretence by knowingly renting out a forfeited asset without due authorization levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
A statement by the law firm, yesterday, said;
“On or around May 2013, our law firm was approached by one Mrs. Sylvia Udeagbala, to represent her husband in a criminal case. In our first appearance in court, it happened that the complainant in the case, Chief Leonard Okafor and the defendant, Mr. Jonathan Udeagbala, were from the same town. It was thus decided to settle the case amicably out of court, and the court and the prosecutor were so informed.
“Mr. Jonathan Udeagbala owns a five-bedroom duplex in Nicon Town Estate in the Lekki area of Lagos. He had a business agreement with Chief Leonard Okafor for telecommunications. The business didn’t go as planned, so Chief Okafor demanded a refund of his investments, which caused Mr. Udeagbala to issue several cheques, which were alleged to have bounced, hence a criminal charge filed against him in court. “Upon the intervention of our law firm, several peace meetings were held with the complainant in the case, Chief Okafor, and it was agreed that Mr. Udeagbala’s house in Nicon Town Estate should be sold or leased to offset the money outstanding in favour of Chief Okafor. Mrs. Udeagbala then secured a tenant, Shelf Drilling Co Ltd, for a five-year long lease of about N11 million per annum.
“This was disclosed to Chief Okafor and it was agreed by the parties that the proceed of the lease be used to offset part of the money being claimed by Chief Okafor, as follows: Chief Okafor – N35 million; Mr. Udeagbala – N12 million; Renovation of the house by the contractor chosen by the tenant – N8 million; Fee paid to the agent – N2.5 million; and legal fee paid to our office – N2.5 million.
“The above sums were by agreement of all the parties duly disbursed, with documentary evidence of collection. When EFCC got to know that the said property had been let out to Shelf Drilling for five years at the rate of N10 million per annum, they told Shelf Drilling that the earlier money paid had been forfeited. EFCC then asked Shelf Drilling to pay N12 million per annum. A sum of N24 million has so far been collected by EFCC. In fact, we are informed that as at May 10, 2016, EFCC served the tenant another invoice for rent for 2016. “Part of the terms of settlement was that Chief Okafor will withdraw his petition and criminal complaint to the EFCC which he did through a letter of withdrawal written by his lawyers Atuegwu Egwuatu & Associates dated 19th August, 2013, and which was received by the EFCC on September 17, 2013.
“Consequent upon the withdrawal, the criminal charge was dismissed by the High Court on December 17, 2015, in a well considered ruling delivered by Justice D. Oluwayemi and the EFCC is aware of this.
“At all material times, our law firm was not aware of any interim order of attachment obtained by the EFCC on the property. With the ruling of Justice Oluwayemi which has dismissed the main criminal charge, there can be no subsisting order of attachment as something cannot be placed on nothing and be expected to stand.
“The above transaction took place ever before the Buhari administration. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has been receiving unofficial complaints from the EFCC, about his opposition to the Buhari administration and has ever been threatened with the above dead case. But the threats became more rampant upon his brief in the case of Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) and especially Mr. Azibaola Robert, cousin of former President Goodluck Jonathan. On May 4, 2016, our firm appeared in Tompolo’s case at the Federal High Court, Lagos and May 4, 2016, our firm filed a suit in court, for the release of Jonathan’s cousin.
“On May 5, 2016, EFCC filed a case against Mr. Adegboruwa. So, there is no fraud case against Mr. Adegboruwa. He is being persecuted for speaking against the Buhari regime. There is no way a criminal case can be maintained against Mr. Adegboruwa as the criminal case upon which the case is based has been dismissed.”