A High Court sitting in Igbosere, Lagos has sentenced ex-girlfriend of the State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) boss, Olaide Ibraheem, to two years imprisonment for forgging documents of property owned by the emergency agency boss, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osayintolu.
Ibraheem, a Director, Admin and Human Resources, Lagos State Office of Civic Engagement, was found guilty of forging document of a property located on No. 1, Baba Yusuf Close, Alausa, Lagos.
The director was convicted on two-charges while the court found her not guilty of the third charge of criminal damage to property owned by the LASEMA boss.
Delivering judgment on the case filed three years ago, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye said that it was visible to the naked eye that the deed presented to the court by Ibraheem was a forgged and that the property was executed in the sole name of Oke-Osanyitolu.
Ipaye in her response wondered why the defence allowed proceedings to degenerate to the level of conviction and sentencing despite prior calls by the prosecution for mediation between the warring ex-lovers.
The judge noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a non-custodial sentence would be granted by the court to the convict, even as Ipaye faulted her for allowing the case to degenerate despite prior calls by the LASEMA boss for mediation.
Ipaye, yesterday, ruled that the convicts would serve two years or pay a fine of N750, 000 and vacate the building not less than 30 days after the pronouncement.
“A fine of N750,000 is imposed on the convict which is to be paid to the Chief Registrar of the court not later than 30-days, failure of which she shall serve a prison term of two-years.
“An Order of Restitution is hereby granted. The convict is to vacate the premises not later than 30-days failing which she shall serve two-years imprisonment,” Ipaye added.
The judge noted that if the convict failed to pay the fine and vacate the premises, she shall serve a “cumulative sentence of four-years imprisonment”.
It would be recalled that the convict was arraigned on May 22, 2017 on a three-count charge of forgery, forcible entry and criminal damage to property contrary to Sections 52, 339 and 365(3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.
During the trial, Oke-Osanyitolu in his testimony told the court that he and the defendant were former lovers and that they were officials of the state government.
He said that during the course of their relationship, he needed accommodation for his ailing mother and had sought the help of Ibraheem who negotiated the purchase of the property on his behalf for N45million from the former owner, one Baba Yusuf in Kano.
The LASEMA DG told the court that he had made instalmental payments for the property via Luqman Salami, his personal assistant and that he paid a balance of N1. 5million the day the Deed of Assignment was signed.
“Five people including the defendant, were present when the Deed was signed but only four persons- myself, the owner of the property Baba Yusuf, his son Musa Yusuf and Salami my personal assistant signed the document,”
According to Oke-Sanyitolu, following the breakdown of their relationship, the defendant in order to unlawfully lay claim to the property, had fraudulently made another Deed of Assignment and had forged his signature on the fake document.
He said that Ibraheem, with the aid of hoodlums, had also unlawfully broke into and took over possession of the property on September 2015 and that when he reported his ex-lover’s actions to the authorities, she threatened deal with him.
Ibraheem, while testifying in her defence said the property belonged to her and that she wanted to buy the property, she visited Baba Musa the former owner of the property in Kano. However, he had said due to religious reasons, he could not sell the property to a woman unless she came with her spouse.
The defendant in her version of events said that four persons- herself, the owner of the property, his son and Oke-Sanyitolu signed the Deed of Assignment while Salami, Oke-Sanyitolu’s personal assistant was a witness.
She said after the end of their relationship, she got wind of the fact that Oke-Sanyitolu had procured another Deed of Assignment for the property.