Uche Ogah Arrested by EFCC Outside Lagos Court Premises
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday morning picked up the President of Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Uche Ogah, outside the premises of a Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Tinubu, Lagos Island.
Ogah was arrested soon as he stepped out the court premises after the forgery charges filed against him by the police were withdrawn.
Ogah, who was declared winner of the last governorship election in Abia State by Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja on June 27, had on June 16 been arraigned by the police for alleged forgery.
But the police on Monday morning withdrew the charges.
When the case was called, the police prosecutor, Henry Obiazi, told the presiding magistrate, Mrs. Kikelomo Ayeye, that he had the instruction of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to withdraw the charges against Ogah and his co-defendants.
“I am instructed by the IGP to withdraw this case, as the issue is pending with the SFU,” Obiazi said.
The charges were consequently struck out by the court.
But as soon as Ogah stepped out of the court premises, he was arrested by the waiting EFCC operatives who drove him away in his own car.
A source at the EFCC said the commission had received a petition from the complainant in the case against Ogah.
The source said Ogah was being interrogated, adding that others would also be invited.
Ogah was, however, released on Monday evening after hours of questioning by the EFCC.
Ogah’s lawyer, Mr. Monday Ubani, disclosed this in a statement.
Ubani said the EFCC released his client after discovering that the petition against him had no substance.
He said, “At the EFCC office, we were confronted with a petition written by the same Mrs. Bridget Adeosun, who coincidentally is also the complainant in the forgery charge that was earlier struck out by the magistrate court.
“We presented the same submission we made before the police to the EFCC which is that the subject matter in the forgery allegation bothers on a pure business transaction which my client had with Adeosun. We showed the commission’s officials documents about the business transaction and agreements reached by parties in the business. The EFCC investigators were shocked that these documents were never given to them where she received her payments.
“After reviewing our presentation, the EFCC officials asked my client to go home and come back another day to have interview with the petitioner.”
The other defendants in the charge which the police withdrew against Ogah were his company, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited and an ex-employee of United Bank for Africa, Deji Somoye.
The defendants were accused of conspiring with some persons still at large to forge a Memorandum of Understanding between Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited and Mut-Hass Petroleum Limited sometime in March 2011.
Ogah and some other persons still at large were alleged to have forged the signature of Adeosun.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty after which they were admitted to bail in the sum of N200,000 each with one surety each in like sum.
But the case was struck out on Monday.