A businessman, Muhammad Bature, has accused former Zonal Manager, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Lugard Edegbe, of appropriating his plot of land located at Sabon Lugbe area of Abuja.
Edegbe is facing trial for alleged criminal conspiracy, trespass and forgery.
Bature, a star witness in a case between the Commissioner of Police and Edegbe, told a magistrate court sitting in Wuse 2, Abuja, Wednesday, that Edegbe allegedly sold the plot of land measuring 2.7 hectares belonging to Bature to one Mrs Aisha Shettima.
The witness told the presiding Magistrate, Elizabeth Wonni, in his evidence, that he bought the land around April 2009.
“I am a car dealer and the name of my business is M.A. Bature Motors. I bought the land for N5 million,” he said.
Bature narrated how the land documents were processed from a company named Karmenla Vourla Holding Nig. Ltd., and a change of ownership done at the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS).
He said Duruolu Nig. Ltd. was the first name in the allocation before a change of ownership was done to Karmenla Vourla Holding Nig. Ltd.
The witness told the court that sometimes ago, a woman by name Mrs Aisha Shettima, called him, claiming to be the owner of the plot.
He said Shettima said she bought the land from Lugard, who had retired from service over 15 years ago.
He said at a point, they both (he and Shettima) went to the Land Department of FCT to verify the authenticity of the documents and that it was confirmed that he had the genuine papers.
Bature, who said he petitioned the police on the matter, said Lugard later claimed that the documents were stolen from him and that the papers he had were fake, having been stolen from him.
“Lugard now started saying that my paper was a stolen paper that one Hope Usiosefe, his nephew, stole the paper from him,” he said.
The witness said the police asked him if he did a police report, court affidavit or newspaper publication to prove that the documents were truly stolen but that Lugard could not answer the questions.
He also said Usiosefe, who had also testified before the police that his uncle, Edegbe, gave him the land as a gift long time before he decided to sell it to him, had also accepted to be a witness before the court.
The magistrate Wonni, after counsel to the defendant, Elechi Nicholas, completed his cross examination, adjourned the matter till March 24 for continuation of hearing.
The first information report (FIR) indicated that the Inspector-General of Police received the petition on June 12, 2017, alleging that Edegbe and one Aisha Bature (still at large) sometime between 2009 and 2017 conspired and forged an offer of terms of grant of approval bearing the name Duruola Nig. Ltd. dated March 1998 in respect of the land, purportedly made by the zonal planning office of AMA.
The FIR also alleged that Edegbe, being a public servant, knowingly framed an incorrect document in a manner that is likely to cause injury.