A 41-year-old businessman, Vincent Okam, on Thursday told a Grade I Area Court, Kubwa, Abuja, that his former neighbour, James Ibe, defrauded him of N1 million.
The police charged Ibe of Jabi, Abuja, with criminal breach of trust and cheating.
Being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Babajide Olanipekun, Okam said the defendant, who was his neighbour at Kubwa, approached him to lend him N1 million, sometime in 2014.
“He promised to pay back after a month and I gave him. After two weeks, he called me for a memorandum of understanding which was fake. I did not know his intention was to defraud me.
“In the agreement, he said he would pay five per cent interest on the capital I gave him.
“But after one month, I presented a cheque he gave me at the bank but it was dishonoured due to no funds in the account.
“When I confronted him he promised to pay me but never did. I eventually moved out from the apartment at Kubwa and reaching him afterward was difficult.
“He issued me a post-dated cheque for N1.1 million and when six months elapsed, I called him to inform him that I could not present the cheque anymore.
“He also said he had travelled for a business trip.
“The defendant has paid me N90,000 on two occasions only and I have not received more money from him.
“I noticed he bought a new Toyota Camry car for his wife and I asked him about it since he said he did not have money,” Okam said.
He said the defendant agreed to a meeting with him at Jabi sometime in 2016 where he gave him an Ecobank cheque for N1,050,000.
“When the cheque was due, I presented it at the bank and it bounced again. So at that point I reported him to the office of the Area Commander, Kubwa police station,” he said.
The cheque, the witness statement and memorandum of understanding were tendered in court and admitted as exhibits.
The judge Muhammad Adamu, however, adjourned the matter until Nov. 11, for cross-examination.
Earlier, the prosecution counsel had applied for trial to commence in absentia citing Section 352 (4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
He said the defendant whom the court issued a warrant of his arrest had left the court’s jurisdiction and could not be reached.