Vincent Okam, a 41-year-old businessman, told a Grade I Area Court in Kubwa, Abuja, on Thursday that his former neighbor, James Ibe, cheated him of N1 million.
Ibe of Jabi, Abuja, was charged with criminal breach of trust and cheating by the police.
Okam claimed the defendant, who was his neighbor at Kubwa, contacted him to lend him N1 million sometime in 2014, while being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Babajide Olanipekun.
“He promised to pay me back in a month, so I gave him a month.” He called me two weeks later for a bogus memorandum of understanding. I had no idea he was planning to swindle me.
“In the agreement, he stated that he would pay 5% interest on the money I handed him.
“However, after a month, I submitted a check he provided me to the bank, but it was returned since there were no funds in the account.
“He promised to compensate me when I confronted him, but he never did.” I finally moved out of Kubwa’s place, and it was impossible to contact him after that.
“He gave me a N1.1 million post-dated cheque, and after six months, I contacted him to tell him I couldn’t deliver the check anymore.”
“He also stated that he was on a business trip.”
“On two instances, the defendant paid me N90,000, and I have not received any further funds from him.”
“I observed he got a new Toyota Camry car for his wife and I inquired about it because he said he didn’t have any money,” Okam explained.
He claimed the defendant promised to meet him in Jabi in 2016 and handed up an Ecobank cheque for N1,050,000.
“I submitted the check at the bank when it was due, and it bounced again.”
“At that point, I reported him to the Area Commander’s office at the Kubwa police station,” he explained.
The check, witness statement, and memorandum of understanding were all presented to the court and were accepted as exhibits.
Judge Muhammad Adamu, on the other hand, postponed the case until Nov. 11 to allow for cross-examination.
The prosecution had previously requested that the trial be held in the absence of the defendant, citing Section 352 (4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
He claimed that the defendant for whom the court had issued an arrest warrant had fled the jurisdiction of the court and could not be located.