Monday, December 30, 2019

Fake house agents arraigned in Lagos over fraud

Two suspected fake estate agents, Solomon Olakunle and Christopher Chukwuemeka, who allegedly defrauded an accommodation seeker of N630, 000, on Monday appeared before an Ogudu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

The duo residing at Oworonshoki Lagos, are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining under false pretense and stealing.

They however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The police alleged that the defendants obtained N630, 000 from one Mrs Busayo Balogun with a promise to secure a three-bedroom apartment for her but failed.

The prosecutor, Insp. Lucky Ihiehie told the court that the defendants committed the offences in December 2018 at Okemu Street, Oworonshoki in Lagos.

Ihiehie said that the defendants conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of the peace by obtaining the sum and failing to provide the accommodation.

“The complainant was in need of accommodation; she contacted an agent called ‘Gabriel’ who introduced her to the defendants.

“They collected the said amount from the complainant for one year and even showed her an apartment which was under renovation.

“They told her that she could move in after the renovation but that was not the case.

“The complainant went back after some days to check if the renovation had been completed only to discover it had been rented out to another person who had already moved in.

“To her greatest surprise she was told that the defendants were not the person in charge of the said property; all efforts to get back her money had been abortive,’’ the prosecutor said.

The alleged offences violate Sections 287, 314 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 314 prescribes a 15-year jail term for false pretences, while Section 287 stipulates a seven-year imprisonment for stealing.

The Magistrate, Mrs Ejiro Kubeinje granted the defendant N200, 000 bail with two sureties in like sum.

The magistrate however, adjourned the case until Feb. 4, 2020, for mention.