63-year-old Suleiman Gbajabiamila has been taken into custody by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Gbajabiamila, who shares the same surname as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, was charged with two counts of defrauding Lateef Adeyemo, a Nigerian living in the United Kingdom, of N30 million last year.
The accusation states that between September and October 2021, Gbajabiamila, who pretended to be an estate agent, illegally received and diverted to his use the money intended to buy a two-bedroom apartment for Adeyemo.
The suspect, alleged to have been on the run for months, was initially charged with theft and making a false presentation, both crimes punishable by Section 287 of Lagos State’s 2015 criminal code.
Gbajabiamila, according to the police, went on a spending spree during that time, and some bank transfers were made between him and his wife.
According to the police in charge of the investigation, the victim said N150,000 for the criminal to be located. However, Gbajabiamila chose to go offline, making it challenging to find him.
On Tuesday, September 20, 2022, he put on his phone, and as a result, he was found.
The case was continued to July 25, 2022, after Gbajabiamila’s initial arraignment on June 20, 2022. As a result, Gbajabiamila was ordered to remain in the Ikoyi Correctional Center by Chief Magistrate Olatunbosun until January 2023; nevertheless, he was released on December 24, 2022.
Gbajabiamila’s attorney requested an adjournment when the case was resumed yesterday to allow the parties to resolve the issue, and the sitting judge acceded to his request.
The matter was postponed for further consideration until April 5, 2023.
He admitted to the media that he made some poor financial decisions with the money and could not explain what had transpired. However, he added that he was prepared to negotiate a settlement and divide the money’s payment to the victim.
But drama soon followed the court proceedings when the EFCC ordered Gbajabiamila, who had already boarded a car, to disembark. Instead, he was shoved inside a waiting car, and the anti-graft agency’s men sped off with him.
The victim charged Gbajabiamila with pulling practical jokes to escape punishment and using the name and influence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to evade justice.