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Pastor defrauds Ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s wife Titi of N918m

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THE wife of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Titi, yesterday, revealed how her business partner defrauded her of N918 million because she trusted him, since he claimed to be a pastor.


Mrs Abubakar made the revelation while testifying before a Lagos State high court sitting in Ikeja on how she was duped by Pastor Nsikakabasi Akpan-Jacobs and two others.

In her account, she said: “I thought the first defendant, being a pastor, will not defraud me. I thought that he was being genuine with me during our business dealings.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had slammed the accused with a 15-count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing and fraudulent conversion of property worth N918 million belonging to THA Shipping Maritime Services Ltd.

Mr. Amos Ibe, the defence counsel to Akpan-Jacobs, while cross-examining Mrs Abubakar, questioned why she used different names in company documents relating to the fraud.

*Titi Abubakar

She responded: “My name is Florence Doregos; my name is Titi Amina Atiku Abubakar, and the Mrs in the petition is a mistake made by my lawyer. Florence is my name and it was easy for me to use Doregos while I was in state service.

“The name of my biological father is Dorego Albert; we are from Ilesha, but I have cousins who are from the Republic of Benin. I can choose Doregos or Albert as my surname. They are all my names. Even Dino Melaye is Daniel. But he calls himself Dino.

“I can twist my name anyhow I want.”

Responding to Ibe’s questions about her identity when she married the former Vice President, she said: “I married my husband at the Ikoyi Registry in 1971.

“I was a Christian before I married my husband. Angelina is my baptismal name, while Florence is my confirmation name. When I got married to my husband, I converted to Islam and I have been called Amina Titilayo. Titilayo was what I was called at home.”

Ibe, however, still questioning Mrs Atiku’s real identity, told her that a book written in honour of her husband entitled Atiku: The Story of Atiku Abubakar, claimed that she was from a local government area in Adamawa State.

She answered: “I am from my husband’s local government area by virtue of marriage. Whether I am from the moon is not the matter on ground.”

Ibe, sought to tender the book written in honour of the former Vice President in court, but it was rejected by Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye.

“The document does not fall under the definition of a public document under the Evidence Act. It is a private document, it is therefore rejected,” Ipaye said.

The matter

THA Shipping Maritime Services Ltd, a company created in 2000, belonged to Mrs Atiku, Akpan-Jacobs and Fred Holmes.

She was said to be the majority shareholder with 49 percent shares, while Holmes and Akpan-Jacobs each had 25 percent.

Akpan-Jacobs, who also doubled as the company’s Managing Director and Secretary, was accused to have gone to the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, and altered the share holding in his favour and forging the company’s board resolution.

According to EFCC, Akpan-Jacobs sold a property belonging to the company to Dana Motors Nigeria Ltd for N918 million.

But the defence disputed Mrs Atiku’s claims that she invested over N1.2 billion into the business transactions with the defendants.

She said: “Akpan-Jacobs never gave me any records. I was in the state service. I did not get any auditor; Akpan-Jacobs has the evidence of the money I spent. I didn’t know that our business transactions will become a court case.

“When the fraud happened, we initially agreed to settle out of court, but instead of settling, he went to sell the cranes and the company, giving the EFCC N16 million which I received,” she said.

Akpan-Jacobs’ lawyer, asked the court to cancel the next court date, slated for May 24 for continuation of the trial, on the grounds of his ill-health. But Mr. Babatunde Sonoiki, the EFCC counsel, opposed the request.

Justice Ipaye granted a cost of N100,000 against Akpan-Jacobs and adjourned the case until July 5 and 6 for continuation of trial.

 

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