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Suspected Fraudster, Ebiesuwa Fredrick, Temporarily Losses Victoria East Park Hotel and Suites To FG

Justice (Professor) Chuka Obiozor of a Federal High Court, Lagos, on Tuesday, ordered the temporary forfeiture of Victoria East Park Hotel and Suites located along Igbogbo-Bayeku Road, Ikorodu, Lagos, belonging to a suspeceted fraudster, Ebiesuwa Fredrick, over an alleged fraud of N53.7m.

Justice Obiozor ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to take over the hotel for 21 days to enable it to conclude its investigation of the alleged fraud.

The EFCC in an ex parte application on Tuesday, informed the court that it believed that the hotel was acquired with proceeds of fraud by Ebiesuwa Fredrick, who is believed to be the ringleader of a syndicate of fraudsters based in Ibadan and with accomplices in Lagos.

The EFCC lawyer, Ayanfeoluwa Ogunsina, had told Justice Obiozor that his Agency sought to take over the hotel so as to prevent the fraudsters from disposing of it while investigation was still ongoing, thereby "defeating the end of justice".

The EFCC lawyer stated that the anti-graft agency was investigating Fredrick and members of his syndicate who were still at large, based on a petition it received from one Dunni Olagbegi, who claimed to have been duped to the tune of N53.7m by the suspects.

The EFCC in an affidavit in support of the Ex-parte application deposed ti by one of its in investigating officer, Chris Odofin, stated that, "the antics of these fraudsters include luring people into their criminal den where they present one of them as a pastor, hypotise their victim, make the victim take an oath never to reveal what they say or do and then use all sorts of deceitful methods to collect money from the victim.

"Preliminary investigation revealed that the respondent (Fredrick) is a member of the syndicate of fraudsters that specialise in duping unsuspecting members of the society and have duped several people through this means and are still on the prowl, seeking more people to devour.

"The respondent and some members of his syndicate are based in Ibadan while they also have accomplices in Lagos. 

"They launder the proceeds of their criminal activities through acquisition of landed properties within and outside Ibadan with a view to legitimising and integrating their ill-gotten wealth into the mainstream economy, despite the fact that they have no legitimate sources of income."

After listening to the  argument by the EFCC lawyer, Justice Obiozor, in a short ruling, granted the application, empowering the anti-graft agency to take over Victoria East Park Hotel and Suites for 21 days.

The judge also directed the EFCC to paste the court order in a conspicuous place on the premises of the hotel. While adjourned till August 9, for further proceedings of the matter.

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