A Grade I Area Court in Kubwa, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on Tuesday referred a case of alleged fraud filed against two businessmen, Simon Ndulue and Favour Chibuzor, to the police for investigation.
The judge, Mallam Ibrahim Rufai, gave the order pursuant to the provisions of Section 89 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, following the submissions of the defence counsel, Ijeoma Ndulue.
Rufai referred the matter to the Area Command, Kubwa, for investigation and to determine whether the alleged offence is civil or criminal in nature.
The direct criminal complaint was instituted by the complainant, Bridget Ikechukwu, through her lawyer, George Presley, but the plea of the defendants were not taken.
Earlier, the defence counsel filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court, citing Section 8(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA.
“The section states that a suspect cannot be arrested based on a civil matter of breach of contract and the matter here is regarding sale of shops, it is purely civil and not criminal,” Ndulue said.
In response, the complainant’s lawyer held that the objection was not ripe for hearing because he was served on September 18 and had 48 hours to respond.
Presley urged the court to discountenance the defence counsel‘s submission, adding that the defendants should take their plea.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the complainant, Ikechukwu, alleged that she paid the defendants N150,000 and N140,000, respectively, for portions of shops at Central Market Kubwa on July 27.
Ikechukwu further alleged that the defendants sold the shops to her deceitfully because two days after payment, the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, officials demolished the structures.
According to her, when she requested her money from the defendants, they refused to pay back.