A Badagry prince, Semasa James, of Kweme Land was on Tuesday arraigned before an Ikeja Special Offences Court for defrauding the estate of his father, late Oba Afolabi James of N500 million.
According to the charges, the late ruler was the king of Kweme Land of Badagry.According to Mr. Sunday Ekong, the prosecutor for the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), the prince fraudulently converted N500 million property belonging to the late king between 2000 and 2017. Ekong said Semasa had in 2011 in Lagos, forged the resolution of a company called CAJ Industrial Enterprises dated Nov. 28, 2011.
The prosecutor further alleged that the prince had purported that the resolution was signed by his father, who was one of the directors of the company meanwhile his father had died nine years earlier in 2002. Ekong also noted that Semasa had forged the resolution with the intent that it will be acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of any person.
Following Semasa’s plea, Mr. Martins Oydigbo, the prince’s defense counsel asked the court to grant his client bail. “I hereby request for an order granting the defendant bail, he is a well-known person and even has a street named after him.
“The fear that the defendant will jump bail is not tangible, the incumbent king Oba Olalekan James, one of the siblings of the defendant is in court and ready to be a surety to the defendant. He has no criminal record and should be presumed innocent until the contrary is proven,” Odigbo said.
Opposing the bail application, Ekong in a written address, opposed the bail of the prince. “He had jumped administrative bail and that is why his passport was sealed by the Commissioner of Police. We want to make sure this matter goes on and we are afraid that if he is granted bail, he will avoid his trial.
The prosecutor also told the court that 15 prosecution witnesses, mostly relatives were ready to testify against the prince during the trial.Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, however in a ruling, granted the prince bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum. The judge ordered that Semasa be detained at the SFU till the perfection of the bail conditions and adjourned the case until May 11, 14 and 15 for trial.
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