A Lagos Federal High Court, has ordered that a man of about 70 years of age, Alugbue Chukwuma Emmanuel, be remanded in the facility of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), for allegedly defrauded a women group of N43 million.
Justice Tijjani Ringim who presided over the court, remanded the grandpa, after he pleaded not guilty to a three count-charge of conspiracy, fraud and unlawful conversion of funds made against him by the Lagos Zone of Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU).
The prosecutor, Mr. Justine Enang, had on Thursday, told Justice Ringim that the defendant with others now at large, sometimes in 2016, conspired among themselves and fraudulenty obtained the sum of N43 million from the Registered Trustees of of Great Mercy Firebrand Sister’s Fellowship, with the false pretence of sale a property to the group.
Enang told the court that the property the defendant falsely presented to the group, was situated at Off Oregun Link Road, Ikeja, Lagos.
The prosecutor told the court that immediately the women group paid the said N43 million to the defendant, he converted the money to his personal use and failed, refused to hand over the property and refund the money.
He told the court that the offences commited by the defendant, are contrary to Sections 8(a), 1(1)(a)and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related offences Act, 2006. And section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as Amended in 2012.
But the defendant, after the charges were read to him pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Following his not guilty plea, the prosecutor, Enang, asked the court for a trial date, while also urged the court to remand the defendant in the NCoS’ custody till the charges against him are determined.
Responding to the prosecutor request, counsel to the defendant, Tunde Awogbade, informed the court of his client’s bail appllication and said same have been served on the prosecutor.
The prosecutor while admitting that he had been served, however said the he is not opposing the application and that court should use it’s discretion.
Ruling on the defendant’s bail application, Justice Ringim, admitted him to bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum.
Justice Ringim ordered that one of the sureties must be a Civil Servant in either Lagos State of Federal Government establishment not below Grade Level 14. And the second surety must be a landed property owner with the Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) within the court’s jurisdiction.
The judge further ordered the sureties to finish the court with means of livelihood, evidence of three years tax payment, bank statement of account of six months and letter of recommendation from the counsel to the defendant.
Justice Ringim, being a vacation judge, ordered that the defendant be remanded in the NCoS’ custody, pending the perfection of the bail conditions. Adding that the case file will be return to the Court’s Chief Judge, for reassignment to substantive judge.