419 Driver, 45, docked for alleged N1.3m fraud

The accused, 45, who resides at No. 538, Abesan Estate, Ipaja, a Lagos suburb, is facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and stealing.

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A commercial driver, Justine Okoro, who allegedly defrauded a businessman, Tochukwu Mamara, of  N1.3 million, on Friday appeared in an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court.

The accused, 45, who resides at No. 538, Abesan Estate, Ipaja, a Lagos suburb, is facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and stealing.

Police Prosecutor Peter Nwangwu told the court that the accused committed the offences with others still at large at about 10.a.m. on April 4 at Alaba International Market, Ojo, Lagos.

He alleged that the accused fraudulently collected the money from the complainant by luring him to an unknown destination.

“The accused approached the complainant, who sells Motorola walkie-talkie, to supply walkie-talkie to him in large quantities.

“Mamara took three sample of the products to him at an agreed location, but on getting there, Okoro hypnotized the complainant.

“The accused and others forced the complainant to swear to an oath of secrecy that whatever he saw would not be revealed.

“The accused asked the complainant to go and withdraw money from his account in exchange for dollars,” Nwangwu said.

Nwangwu also told the court that the accused collected  N1.3 million from the complainant and promised to send double the amount to him in hard currency.

“The complainant later discovered that he had been duped.”

The offences contravened Sections 285, 312 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 312 prescribes a 15-year jail term for offenders, while Section 285 stipulates a three-year imprisonment.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Y.O. Aje-Afunwa, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

She said the sureties must show evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos State Government and adjourned the case until June 21 for hearing. 

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