For allegedly issuing dud cheques amounting to N70 million to her clients, a Lagos-based lawyer, Mrs Shade Ogundare, has been arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Ikoyi, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
Mrs Ogundare allegedly sold some parcels of land belonging to her clients in Eti-Osa, Lagos.
She was arrested following a petition by Nickezab And Associates, Legal Practitioners Corporate And Property Consultants to Banjoko, Oyetubo and Okun-Ade, the three linages that make up the Oyemade Royal Family.
The families in their petition also accused Mrs. Ogundare of non- accountability and gross embezzlement of their funds and attached copies of Ogundare’s dud cheques to their petition.
The petition dated 18 November, 2013, which was received by the EFCC on 20 November, 2013, detailed the alleged “Fraudulent dealings and sale of Oyemade Royal Family land by Mrs. Shade Ogundare and her cohorts worth over four billion naira.”
Nickezab And Associates said as solicitors to Oyemade Royal Family all of Oni-Ibeju, Sangotedo in Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos State, they were mandated to write the petition on the three families’ behalf.
In the petition, Nickezab And Associates averred: “That Oyemade Royal Family are the true owners of all that expanse of land at Oni-Ibeju Sangotedo Village in Eti-Osa Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos State, measuring 201 hectares covered by a Certificate Of Occupancy No. 75/75/1996AE.
“That the certificate of occupancy was obtained in respect of the above mentioned land on behalf of the family in the family’s holding company’s name, Oyetubo Joko T’ Ade Est Resources Ltd with RC No. 278537.
“That Mrs. Shade Ogundare was appointed by the family/company as an attorney for the purpose of sale, dealings, transaction of monies accruing to the family/company and which appointment has since been revoked.
“The said Mrs. Shade Ogundare has been dealing and carrying out transaction on the said land for over 15 years now without making or reconciling accounts with the family or the company as this act has left members of the family impoverished. She has swindled our clients to the tune of over N4 billion.
“That apart from this heinous financial crime against the family she has resorted to harassment and intimidation of our client whenever they demanded that she settle accounts. She has equally put her stooge one Mr. Kelechi Mbagwu on the land who has now employed the services of mobile police officers who harrass and intimidate our clients.”
After the EFCC operatives arrested and interrogated Shade on all the allegations levelled against her in the presence of members of the three land owning families, she was said to have responded thus: “When the cheques could not be cleared I transferred the money into their accounts.”
Following her response, EFCC promised to investigate her claim and later granted her bail.
Shade’s lawyer, Chief Bosun Osifowora, simply told P.M.NEWS that the case is still being investigated by the EFCC and declined to speak further about it.
The spokesperson for the Oyemade Family, Alhaja Hajimot Adisa, 72, told P.M.NEWS how the family acquired the land and what led to the current issue with the EFCC.
According to her, “when we were sacked from Maroko by the then Raji Rasaki administration, the state government gave the three families the land totalling 250 hectares. Later, the elders of the family sidelined us from transactions relating to the sale of the land. They later erected an office where they usually hold meetings. We went to their meeting and demanded for our own share of the transactions.
“I spoke with Alhaja Amokun the head of the family who was then in London but she shunned me. We later saw a business woman whose office is situated in Ikeja, working on the land and asked her to stop. But she explained to us that the former head of the family, the late Chief Bajulaiye, sold the land to her. We later searched the house and saw a receipt of payment from her and we asked her to bring some of the children of the former head of the family and we collected a balance of N20 million for the land she bought.
“When we asked the family’s lawyer to render account of the past transactions, she started using the police to harass us.We were invited to IGP’s monitoring office at Force Headquarters, Kam Salem, Obalende. It was later that we contacted our lawyers who petitioned the EFCC on our behalf.”