Alleged fraud: Defendants accuse police of persecution

By Lukman Olabiyi

The two defendants, Ezekwere Don, and Mrs. Mopelola Domingos, arraigned before the Tinubu Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, for alleged N75 million fraud have accused the police at the Zone 2 Command, Onikan, Lagos, of being economical with the truth in order to protect one Al Maroof.

They alleged that the two-count charge against them was fabricated by the police, adding that the police were  expected to be neutral and professional in carrying out their duties.

Don and Domingo, whose counsel, Bolanle Olugbani, presented their case, were arraigned before the court for allegedly obtaining the sum of N75 million from a complainant, Ifeoma Obi, under the pretence of selling five plots of land to her.

According to the charge, the defendants allegedly collected the money from the complainant with a promise to sell five plots of land to her in Ibeju-Lekki since July 2017, but the defendants failed to provide the land for the complainant to date and instead converted the money to their use.

However, the defendants’ counsel  stated that the complainant in the charge, Ifeoma Obi, does not exist, adding that it was a fictitious name allegedly invented by the police. 

According to Olugbani,  arraignment of his clients  was sequel to a petition over allegation of threat to life and malicious damage of property written by Al Maroof to the Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan.

The lawyer accused the Officer in Charge of Anti-Crime Unit of Zone 2, Zonal Command of scheming to ensure that Al Maroof acquire five plots of land which has been in dispute. 

The defendants’ counsel  claimed that his clients did not  collect any money from Ifeoma Obi, alleging that  the said name was fabricated to persecute his clients .

Olugbani, said a similar charge instituted by the police against a security guard, watching the property in dispute, Saka Sanni, was rejected by the District Attorney for lack of evidence to prosecute.

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Olugbani, alleged that during interrogation, the security guard was slapped repeatedly and tased with a shock baton in the face and eye by the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), to compel him to indict himself and other client

He stated that when the attempt to charge the security guard failed, the Officer in Charge of Anti-Crime Unit of Zone 2, Zonal Command decided to charge Engr. Ezekwere Don and Mrs. Mopelola Domingos to court for insisting that the five plots of land were not sold to Al-Maroof.

According to Olugbani, his client,  bought five plots of land measuring 4169.910 square meters at Okun Ajah in Eti-Osa Local government Area from Mr. Don Sunny Ezekwere, who obtained his title from the Ogidan family of Okun Ajah many years ago.

He stated that initially, Ezekwere wanted to sell five plots of his land for the sum of N30 million to offset an indebtedness.

Consequently, he (Ezekwere) signed a deed of sale with one Okposu Sydney, who paid  N10 million, but refused to conclude the transaction.

He added that Okposu later claimed that he had sold the five plots to Alhaji Moruff Oyejide even though he was yet to make full payment for the land and the title documents have not been transferred to him.

According to him,effort to return the N10 million to Okposu failed as he refused to make himself available.

He stated that unknown to his client, she bought the five plots of land from Don Sunny Ezekwere, through her agent, Mopelola Domingos, for the sum of N100 million and was immediately put into possession.

He added that on or about November 16, 2021, Al-Maroof,stormed the property in the company with police officers from Zone 2 Police Command, to arrest those working on the site on a purported investigation on a case of threat to life and malicious damage to property.