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John Abebe, a businessman, has been sentenced to seven years in prison by a Lagos state special offences court in Ikeja for forging a document belonging to an oil company.
Ruling on the suit on Saturday, the judge, Mojisola Dada, gave an option of a fine of N50 million to be paid within 30 days in place of imprisonment.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had in 2018 arraigned Abebe, a younger brother of the late Stella Obasanjo, former first lady, on four counts. The anti-graft agency accused Abebe of knowingly forging a November 30, 1995, letter written by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited to Inducon (Nigeria) Ltd.
According to the EFCC, Abebe who is an in-law to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, illegally inserted into page 2 of the said letter that: “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.”
The anti-graft agency also claimed that Abebe attempted to pervert the course of justice by tendering the alleged forged November 30, 1995 letter “as fabricated evidence” in court, in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/224/2010 between John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited, and Statoil Nigeria Limited.
He was indicted for making an attempt to mislead the court by using fabricated evidence contrary to section 120 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos state of Nigeria 2003.