Trial of Lawyer’s Accused of ‘forgery’ Resumes June 15


An Ikeja High Court has adjourned till June 15 to resume the trial of a Lagos lawyer, Kole Bello and three others, for alleged fraud and forgery.

Bello was arraigned alongside Chukwu Victor, Friday Palmer and Osumah Terry, last October 30 by the Lagos State Government on a three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and forgery.

They allegedly committed the offences in December 2001 at Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, Lagos.

The defendants pleaded not guilty.

On the last date, a prosecution witness, Mohammed Salisu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), expressed surprise that one Mr. Rotimi Olubeko, who Salisu claimed bought a landed property with forged documents, was not charged by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) alongside the defendants.

Under cross examination by Ayodele Akintunde (SAN), Salisu, who investigated the case, said his recommendation to the DPP was that Olubeko should be charged too, because of the crucial role he played in the commission of the crime.

Salisu said: “Olubeko claimed ownership of the said landed property; he wrote a petition against one Mr. Felix Awolaja, the son of the late Mrs. Francisca Awolaja at Special Fraud Unit (SFU) Ikoyi, Lagos and even lost when the Awolaja family took him to court”.

He further testified that the lawyer and three other defendants wrote statements as witnesses in favour of Mr. Olubeko, while the first defendant, a lawyer, allegedly tendered a fake Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) and also collected the sum of N5 million from Olubeko.

He alleged that all the defendants facing trial went to a commercial bank in Lagos together, where they allegedly collected the money, shared it and completed the deal.

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Earlier, Salisu told the court that during his investigation, an official of the Lagos State Ministry of Lands, Mr. Olanipekun Cole, told his team that the duplicate copy of the original C of O of the late Mrs. Francisca Awolaja in the file at the ministry was illegally removed and stolen by unknown persons.


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