Court Orders Police to Investigate Former Member House of Reps Over Alleged Cheating, Criminal Breach of Trust

An Upper Area Court, Wuse, sitting in Gudu, Abuja, has directed the police to investigate a former member of House of Representatives, Abdul Oroh, for cheating, criminal dishonesty, criminal breach of trust and forceful seizure of property.
The order was sequel to a complaint brought against the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and former Edo State Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources later Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, by a legal practitioner, Esezobor E. Izibili
Izibili is accusing the former House of Representatives member, who represented Owan Federal Constituency, Edo State, between 2003 and 2007 of breaching contractual agreement of partnership between the two of them after he (Oroh) denied him of financial gain from the said partnership.
The Judge, Justice S. B. Rufai frowned at the absence of the defendant in court which he said was an aberration being that it is a criminal matter and the defendant ought to be present in court.
In a short ruling, in the suit with Charge No. CR/43/18, Justice Rufai held that if the matter is not referred to the police for investigation, the complainant will be put at disadvantage.
According to Justice Rufai: “By Section 89 (5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, such complaint of criminal breach of trust has to be referred to the police first because if not then the complainant would become placed at disadvantage position.”
Earlier counsel to the defendant, S. I Imokhe had pleaded with the court to step down the matter, rather than refer it to the police, to allow for out of court settlement.
“My Lord the matter is between two learned colleagues of mine and my juniors, in fact, I introduced the complainant to the defendant. I plead with the court to stand down the matter for me to explore a settlement between them out of court. It will not be good for learned colleagues to wash their dirty linen in the public.”
But the judged interjected and said for him to have appeared for the defendant showed there was a breakdown in settlement, adding it was fair enough to refer the matter to the police for investigation with the hope that before conclusion of investigation, truce would have been reached by the complainant and the defendant.
The complainant, Izibili, who represented himself said he was not opposed to settlement out of court but urged the court to go on with the case till that time settlement wil be reached.
In the complaint letter, dated May 15, 2018, Izibili said the two of them came together to establish a partnership law practice sometime in 2017.
Entitled: ‘Letter of Complaint Against One Hon. Abdul Oroh…For Cheating, Criminal Dishonesty, Criminal Breach of Trust and Forceful Seizure of Property, Izibili stated: “I wish to state that sometime in the month of March 2017, one Hon. Abdul Oroh and I, Esezobor Emmanuel Izibili came together to establish a partnership law practice
“It came to pass, on the 9th of January, 2018, he (Hon. Abdul Oroh) brought a brief worth N10M,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) and we commenced actions on the matter by way of applicantiions to various Nigerian security agencies, for the release of our clients, twelve Southern Cameroonians citizens, who were arrested and detained on the 5th day of January, 2018, by the Nigerian Intelligence Agency.
“Consequently, on the 12th day of January, 2018, I heard him (Hon. Abdul Oroh) acknowledging payment in respect of the matter, via phone conversation with the detainees’ representative from outside Nigeria, Subsequently, I met with him to confirm the same. He denied receipt of the payment in respect of the matter.
“I was taken aback on the 25th January 2018, when he issued me with UBA bank cheque of N1000,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira only) and he told me that he then just received the alert payment. I then requested from him the amount of money paid from which I was entitled to that amount, he became bully on me and blatantly told me that before he admitted the payment, he had consulted with lawyer friends and he believed them that he is not under any obligation to disclose to me the amount of money paid to the office.
“During the course of our practice, I bought an executive leather chair and hanger for which he initially promised to refund the cost of the purchase of same but refused at all times I demanded for the money.
“Following the circumstances that heralded the office, I was forced to leave the office and elected to remove my properties in the office i.e, my practising law books, the executive leather chair and the hanger. But while I was taking away the first batch of the books to my car downstairs, all other books were thrown outside the office and I was refused in to carry the chair and the hanger.
“kindly ask the police to investigate this matter with view of bringing the suspect to book”, the letter summed.

Author: News Editor

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