Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of an Ikeja High Court on Wednesday adjourned till April 23 the trial of a former governorship aspirant, who was accused of allegedly defrauding the wife of a former Vice President, Mrs Titi Atiku.
Earlier in her testimony, Mrs Atiku had earlier told the court how she was defrauded of N918 million by a former governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State, Nsikakabasi Akpan Jacobs.
Jacobs, alongside, one Abdulmalik Ibrahim and Dana Motors were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 15-count charge of conspiracy, stealing and fraudulent conversion of properties belonging to THA Shipping Maritime Services Ltd.
Obviously upset during cross examination when the 3rd defendant’s counsel, Charles Musa, representing Dana Motors, told her that she is not a reliable witness, owing to the different names she bears in several documents tendered before the court.
She, immediately, refuted the allegation saying “I would not have you ridicule me over the way my names were interchanged in all the documents. My name is Florence. My name is Titilayo. My name is Doregos. My name is Aminat; I bear all these names.
“These two men defrauded and sold my property and you want to come here and ridicule me, I won’t have you do that to me,” Mrs Atiku said.
THA shipping company which she said was coined from the names of the three shares: T-Titilayo, H-Holmes,A-Akpan, was said to have been formed in year 2000 with 49% shares belonging to Mrs Abubakar, 25% belonging to Dan & Fred Holmes who were both working at the time for Julius Berger and 25% to Akpan Jacobs.
Akpan Jacobs who doubled as the company’s Managing Director and Secretary was however alleged to have gone to (CAC) where he altered the shares arrangement in his favour.
Mrs Atiku said that Akpan went to CAC and converted her shares from 45% to 19% and Holmes’ from 25% to 19% as well. She lamented that Akpan,who claimed to be a pastor, later informed her that assets of the THA shipping were sold to offset bank debts.
Meanwhile, earlier in the proceedings, the Ist defendant, Akpan, had alerted the court that his counsel has refused coming to court to cross examine the witness.
Akpan, who was docked alongside Abdulmalik Ibrahim, lamented that his counsel had called him the previous day to declare that he was not going to appear in court and when he demanded to know his reasons, he refused to answer.
Akpan said, “My lord I believe that my counsel either has a cordial relationship with the witness or has been bought over by her, so he finds it difficult to cross examine her. My lord I seek protection from the court, since my lawyer is now against me and is feeding information to my opponents. And I have also been threatened severely and severally by these people.”
He, thereafter, urged the court to grant him time to engage himself with a new lawyer and also update the new lawyer on the trends of the matter. He was later represented by Mrs Nkechi Okafor.
But due to her lack of information relating to the matter, she urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable her go through the case file and become abreast with the happenings in the matter.
Justice Ipaye thereafter adjourned the matter till April 23 for continuation of trial.