You Must Face Trial Over Land Fraud – Judge tells Lawyer

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Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of a Kwara State High Court, sitting in Ilorin, the state capital on Monday, July 22, 2019 dismissed a no case submission application filed by a legal practitioner, Akeem Jimoh who is being prosecuted by Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for land fraud and obtaining money under false pretence.

The EFCC had on July 11, 2019 arraigned the embattled lawyer before Justice Abdulgafar on a one-count charge, bordering on land fraud and obtaining money under false pretence.

Jimoh through his counsel, Professor A. Amuda, SAN, during Monday’s resumed sitting, brought application for a no case submission, arguing that there was no evidence linking his client to the offence.

“With respect to the evidence so far laid by the prosecution before this honourable court, it has shown that the defendant had no intention to defraud the Pw 1 who is a complainant in this case, the evidence of Pw2 who investigated the matter indicated that he was not there when the agreement was made. He only relied on what they told him,” Amuda stated, urging the court to grant the no case application and discharge his client.

In his response, prosecuting lawyer, Sessan Ola urged the court to dismiss the application and order that the defendant entered his defence.

Ola further stated that the evidence of four prosecution witnesses have linked the defendant to the crime, insisting that the defendant has a case to answer.

“It is settled in law that a no case submission can only be upheld when the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses have seriously been discredited. The evidence of prosecution witnesses and extra-judicial statements of the accused have indicted him on the allegations of fraud and obtaining money under false pretence,” Ola stated.

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Speaking further, he said: “There is evidence before your lordship that Barrister Akeem Jimoh sold the land in question to two different people without the knowledge of original owner, that evidence is enough to warrant the accused person to open his defence.”

Ruling on the matter, Justice Abdulgafar overruled the no case submission, declaring that the defendant has a case to answer in the matter.

“I have considered the arguments of the parties, the evidence before this honourable court shows that the defendant sold the land in question in 2006 and resold it in 2011. This account alone shows that the defendant has explanations to make. The no case submission is hereby overruled, the accused person is called upon to open his defence,” Justice Abdulgafar said.

He adjourned the matter to Thursday, July 25, 2019 for the defendant to open his defence.

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