Obasanjo’s In-Law, John Abebe Denies Forging Oil Contract Papers - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Monday, February 15, 2021

Obasanjo’s In-Law, John Abebe Denies Forging Oil Contract Papers

 


LAGOS - John Abebe, brother-in-law of former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday denied forging part of an oil contract papers before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.


An oil company, Statoil Nigeria Limited had on June 22, 2010 accused Abebe, brother of former first lady late Mrs Stella Obasanjo, of forgery.


Abebe who was arraigned on July 26, 2018, is facing a four-count charge of forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Mojisola Dada.


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).


Led in evidence by defence counsel, Mr Edoka Onyeke, Abebe who is the Managing Director of Inducon Nigeria Limited and Osborne Chemical Limited in his defence, told the court that the agreement was not a forgery as alleged by Statoil Nigeria Limited.


According to him, there was a lot of talk in the oil industry about Statoil wanting to sell their assets and leave the country in 1995.


Abebe told the court that he was approached by BP in the United Kingdom and a meeting held in their London office during which the issue was discussed between him and BP in the UK.


“At the end of the day, an agreement was signed between BP and my company Osborne Chemicals to work together and buy the potential stakes of Statoil assets in Nigeria. It is notable that the agreement is still very much alive and both companies have not cancelled that agreement,” he stressed.


He said it was after five years that Statoil started accusing him of forging a BP document.


“If indeed such existed, I do not believe BP would have touched me with a one mile long pole,” Abebe said.


The defendant disputed the testimony of one Ms Joanne Cross, a staff of BP Petroleum who in October ,2018 testimony insisted that the document was forged.


Abebe told the court that Cross did not take part in any of the discussions between his company and BP because he was not a BP employee when the agreement was drafted.


He said he met Ms Cross for the first time 30 years after the agreement with BP was signed.


“I do not agree with her at all because two documents were signed on the same day. The second document that was signed was a three-line explanation of what was already assumed in the first document which was signed.


“When I was invited by the EFCC, I made two statements, the first was rather lengthy and the second one was short.


According to him: ” The second statement addressed the issue of forgery which is that there was no forgery and that has consistently been my story,” Abebe said.


Justice Dada adjourned the case until February 16 for continuation of trial.




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