The trial of one Emmanuel Ade Toluhi who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for offences bordering on criminal breach of trust, cheating and fraud before Justice Bello Kawu of an FCT High Court sitting in Kubwa, Abuja has commenced with the prosecution presenting two witnesses. Led in evidence by counsel to EFCC, Fatsuma Muhammad, the first prosecution witness, PW1, Godwin O. Ugwu told the court that, he bought a land from Toluhi after negotiating the price with him at the rate of N2 million, since there was structure already on the land.
“After confirming the legality of the property, I paid the money to Toluhi in the presence of one Mike Omale, and the payment was acknowledged in writing.” The witness further stated that, consequent upon the formal acknowledgement of the payment, Toluhi transferred to him the power of attorney and all the documents including the original “Certificate of Occupancy”. Documents in support of his claims were tendered and admitted as exhibits by the court. Also testifying, the second prosecution witness, PW2, Mike Omale told the court that, payment for the said property was made in his presence.
“It was in my presence that Toluhi collected money from Ugwu over a property he intended to sell to him. In fact, after the payment, Toluhi gave Ugwu attestation also in my presence”, Omale told the court. Justice Kawu, thereafter adjourned till June 30 for further hearing on the matter. It will be recalled that, Toluhi was arraigned on May 14, 2015 on a two count charge of fraud. The accused was said to have fraudulently sold a plot of land, which was put in his trust by a squadron leader with the Nigeria Air force, Alfred Ayodeji Ogbonda. Ogbonda had allegedly in 2008 entrusted a plot of land situated at No. 218A FCDA Estate Zone B, Angwan Mada Gidan Mangoro, along Jikwoyi-Karshi FCT Abuja to Toluhi to develop for him, only for the accused to sell the property without the knowledge of the owner. An offence contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code Law cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 Abuja .