77-year-old Alhaja Dragged to Court by EFCC Over N65m Fraud
“The saying that age is nothing but mere numbers has played itself to be true after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, dragged a 77-year-old septuagenarianwho could barely walk, Alhaja Mulikat Shonekan, before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja for allegedly stealing and fraudulently converting N65 million entrusted in her care for the purchase of 90 acres of land in Ogun State.
The grandmother had as accomplices, Martins Ogiogwa and Mujekanm Petroleum Nig. Coy. Ltd, and they were arraigned on a five-count charge of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretences, stealing and issuance of dud cheques.
The charge preferred against Alhaja Shonekan is that she in conjunction with the two others, had, sometime in September 2008 in Lagos, stole and fraudulently converted N65,000,000, property of Kuta Stones Limited entrusted to them for the purchase of 90 acres of land located at Kemta Ososun Village, Odeda local government area of Ogun State.
But contrary to the agreement, Alhaja Shonekan and her accomplices decided to keep the money for themselves instead of putting it into the use it was meant for, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 390 of the Criminal Code, Cap. C17, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.
Though the defendants all pleaded not guilty to the offence, the EFCC counsel, Anslem Ozioko, then urged the presiding judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, to remand the defendants in prison custody as required by law, till they perfect any bail granted by the court.
Ozioko argued that Alhaja Shonekan was earlier granted bail by the commission and she absconded, noting that if granted bail her presence for the trial cannot be guaranteed.
After listening to the bail application of the defendants, the judge said:
“I noticed the inability of Alhaja Shonekan to walk properly. So I rule that she should still be in EFCC custody. I have noted that the offences charged are non-capital in nature.”
Justice Ipaye granted the septuagenarian bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties, who would be blood relations and show evidence of three years tax payment.”