The trial of John Warimeme Abebe before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos continued on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, with the defence closing its case and the trial judge adjourning till April 13, 2022 for the adoption of written addresses.
Abebe is senior brother to the late Mrs Stella Obasanjo, wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was arraigned on July 26, 2018 on a four-count charge bordering on forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice by the Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly forged BP Exploration Nigeria Limited’s letter dated 30th November, 1995 to Inducon (Nigeria) Limited by inserting in page 2 of the said letter the following words: “Also note that the ‘Buy-Out Option’ only applies to the pre-production stage of the NPIA. The $4m buy-out is thus irrelevant from production of oil in any of our fields” and purported same to have been issued by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited and committed an offence contrary to Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”
Another count reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly used a fabricated evidence in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/224/2010 between Dr. John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited and Statoil Nigeria Limited, before the Federal High Court, which evidence was admitted and marked exhibit BB in the said suit and committed an offence contrary to Section 120 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”
He pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
Led in evidence by his counsel, E.D. Onyeke, the defendant had taken to the dock to defend himself. He was also cross-examined by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, who confronted him with several documents.
At today’s sitting, Onyeke told the Court that the defence was closing its case. “We will be asking the Court for a date to file our written address,” he said.
Thereafter, Justice Dada adjourned till April 13, 2022 for “definitive adoption of written addresses”.