Justice Mohammed Idris of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, has asked a lawyer, Orhakioyamhe Emmanuel Esq. to appear before him to offer explanation why his client, Mr Cecil Osakwe, failed to show up for arraignment over alleged Fraud N130m.
Last month, federal government dragged Mr Osakwe, managing director of Abeh Signature Limited, a property development company before the court over allegation fraud.
He was supposed to be arraigned on the fraud charge but failed to show up in court
Osakwe, 54, was supposed to be arraigned on July 5, 2022 but his absence forced the court to further shift the case to July 6.
The prosecutor, Mr Una Matthew, had told the court that the accused person, Mr Osakwe had been served the charge sheet through his lawyer, adding that there is proof of service before the court.
He called on the court to issue a bench warrant against the accused person.
But Justice Idris in a short ruling ordered Osakwe’s lawyer to appear before the court to explain his client’s absence and n court.
According to the court processes with charge number CR/244/2022, dated June 9, 2022 and filed on June 14, 2022, Mr Osakwe is accused of Advanced Fee Fraud punishable under section 3(1) of the Laws of the Federation 2004.
In the charge signed by Mr M. B. Abubakar, Director of Public Prosecution in the Federal Ministry of Justice, he was also accused of criminal intimidation of one Ms Asabe Waziri.
He was said to have threatened Ms Waziri with injury to her person and reputation with intent to cause harm and even death in order to cause her to stop requesting legitimately from him (Osakwe) her receipt for payment for the purchase of a unit of two bedroom flat with a maid’s quarters at Abeh Signature Apartments, Maitama Abuja.
According to court documents, in February 2021, she entered and concluded a contract to purchase a two bedroom apartment at Maitama, and after full payment, Osakwe refused to issue her a receipt and sign the Deed of Assignment but rather began to threaten and make life miserable and unbearable for her.
The charge against the accused read, “That you Cecil Osakwe, male, adult of Abeh Signature Limited, sometimes in 2021 in Abuja, Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court obtained by false pretence and with intent to defraud, the sum of N130,000,000 00 (one hundred and thirty million naira) only being payment for the purchase of a two bedroom flat with a maid’s quarters at Abeh Signature Apartment, located at 1, Mekong Close, Maitama, Abuja from one Ms Asabe Waziri which property you failed to deliver neither did you refund her money. You thereby committed an offence contrary to section 3 (1) and punishable under same section of the Advance Fee Fraud, Cap. Ab, LFN, 2004.
That you Cecil Osakwe, male, adult of Abeh Signature Limited, sometimes in 2021 in Abuja, Nigeria within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court threatened Ms Asabe Waziri with injury to her person and reputation with intent to cause harm and even death in order to cause her to stop requesting legitimatety from you her receipt for payment for the purchase of a unit of two bedroom flat with a Maid’s quarters at Abeh Signature Apartment, 1, Mekong close, Abuja, from you and the deeds of assignment thereof. You thereby committed an offence contrary to section 396 (2) and punishable under section 397(a) of the penal code law (cap 89)
According to a letter of response signed by Yunusa Shuaibu, the Executive Secretary of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, (REDAN), as regards the membership of Osakwe, REDAN said Abeh Signature Limited is not their member.
A long term member of the association said “The Association is bounded by strict rules and conduct such that clients are treated with utmost regard, complaints are not taken lightly, hence, some developers who do not want to be regulated, shy away from joining the association for reasons best known to them.”