Olusegun Obasanjo’s in-law, Dr. John Abebe, was sentenced to seven years in prison for forgery and money laundering.
After it was determined that the prosecution’s case was proven beyond a reasonable doubt, Abebe received his punishment. The late former First Lady Stella Obasanjo’s younger brother Abebe was charged with forgery by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Abebe was originally arraigned before the Special Offences Court in Ikeja on July 26, 2018, on a four-count accusation of forgery, forging evidence, employing falsified evidence, and attempting to pervert the course of justice. On June 22, 2010, Statoil Nigeria Limited, a petroleum firm, accused Dr. Abebe of falsification.
Statoil Nigeria Limited had alleged that the defendant forged parts of a Net Profit Interest Agreement (NPIA) dated November 30, 1995, which was drafted by British Petroleum (BP).
It was alleged that he “knowingly forged” a November 30, 1995 letter written by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited to Inducon (Nigeria) Limited. The businessman is accused of “illegally inserting” into page 2 of the said letter “the following statement: “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.”
According to the EFCC, Dr. Abebe also attempted to “pervert the course of justice” by tendering the allegedly forged November 30, 1995 letter “as a fabricated evidence” in court, in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/224/2010 between Dr. John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited and Statoil Nigeria Limited.
Justice Mojisola Dada who convicted Abebe over the offence, gave the convict an option of fine of N50million to be paid within 30days in lieu of imprisonment.