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Lagos State Attorney General Steps In, Takes Over Alleged Fraud Case Against Billionaire Ibeto From EFCC

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The Lagos State government has intervened in the case involving an industrialist, Chief Cletus Ibeto and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC

The letter dated December 4, 2023, a copy of which was sighted by newsmen on Wednesday, was signed by the State Director of Public Prosecutions, Babajide Martins and forwarded to Justice O. Ogala of the Lagos State High Court sitting at Ikeja.

It notified the court of the decision of the state government to take over the case marked: ID/2149C/2023.

“I am directed to notify the honourable court that pursuant to Section 211 (l)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the honourable Attorney General of Lagos State shall take over proceedings in the afore referenced matter,” the letter read.

It will be recalled that Ibeto’s lawyers had petitioned the state government after the court, on November 3, issued a bench warrant against him for non-appearance in a 10-count charge that bordered on alleged fraud.

The lawyers, under the aegis of International Human Rights Protection Initiative, INHURPI, had urged the anti-graft agency to review its of the matter which they said involved a land dispute.

The association, in a statement that was signed by their officials; Samuel Nwadigo, Aseikomo Oteiku, Stephen Ogbe and Peter Ugwoke, maintained that the case was “a pure civil and commercial transaction.”

“It is essential to note that the case involves a land dispute in Rivers State. The issuance of a bench warrant against Chief Ibeto, without proper consideration of jurisdiction is a blatant miscarriage of justice and against his rights protected under the universal declaration of human and peoples rights.

“Our organization believes in the protection of human rights and sanctity of sound judicial system that is devioid of corruption and forum shopping like in the instant case.

“We, as an organization, shall continue to follow the case to ensure that justice is done because there is no basis for turning civil case into criminal case,” the group stated.

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