The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police on Tuesday arrested a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu.
The 67-year-old, who was declared wanted by the SFU on June 19, 2013, for allegedly obtaining N130m from one Cajethan Okekearu, under the guise of selling a plot of land at Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos, was arrested at her Lagos Island residence.
In a statement by the SFU Commissioner of Police, Mr.Tunde Ogunsakin, Ojikutu was said to have allegedly connived with her son, Samson Ojikutu Jnr, currently in the United States, to commit the fraud.
The statement reads in part, “The suspect and her son were parties to the sale of the land and both signed the agreement given to Okekerau and obtained the sum of N130m from him.
“She admitted the crime, but claimed that it was a genuine mistake of plot identification. After refunding N50m to Okekearu, she promised to refund the balance as soon as she disposed her two properties she put up for sale.
“She equally made an undertaking and payment plan which was drawn from September, 2012 and was to terminate by November 2012, but she defaulted.”
It was learnt that Okekearu became aware of the fraud after he commenced development on the land. He was said to be on the verge of completing the building when the bonafide owner of the land surfaced.
It was later discovered that the land which the ex-deputy governor sold did not belong to her. She actually sold Plot 23 Block 4, said to belong to one Mr. Afolabi, while her plot, 24 Block 4, already had a property on it.
It was also discovered that the plot belonged to late Samson Ojikutu Snr, the suspect’s husband who died in 2008. The plot was sold by him in 1995, while the suspect appended her signature to the sale of the land.
The statement added, “It will be recalled that the suspect sued the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police, SFU and the complainants in the State High Court at Igbosere, Lagos, with Suit No. M/581/2013, praying the court to restrain the police from further investigation into the matter and violation of fundamental human right.
“The ruling by Justice Obadina on December 17, 2013, dismissed the suit for lack of merit, saying the Nigeria Police has the power to prosecute the applicants, Sinatu and her son, Samson, since the police investigation revealed that there is prima-facie case of obtaining by false pretences against them and added that the court would not interfere or restrain the police from carrying out their statutory function.”