For allegedly defrauding three accommodation seekers of N1 million, a 26-year-old estate agent, Wasiu Mufutau, was on Thursday brought before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.
Mufutau, a resident of Ikotun area of Lagos, is being tried for obtaining money under false pretences and stealing.
The Prosecutor, Sgt. Godwin Awase, told the court that the accused committed the offences in October at Egbeda, Lagos.
He said that the accused obtained N1 million from three accommodation seekers on the pretext of letting out apartments to them.
“He collected N300,000 from Mr Temidayo Babarinde on the pretext of letting out two-bedroom flat in Oguntade Street, Shasha.
“The accused obtained N200,000 from Mr Peter Okosun for a three-bedroom apartment in Egbeda.
“Mufatau collected N500,000 from Mr Chigozie Frank to let out a three-bedroom apartment at No. 17, Gabriel Babalola St., Egbeda, Lagos to him,” Awase said.
The prosecutor said that the complainants paid the money into the bank account of the accused after they had inspected the said apartments.
“After the accused took the complainants to the houses, he asked them to pay the amounts into his account which they did.
“When the complainants went to the houses after payment, the landlords told them that they did not give the accused their property to manage for them,” he said.
He said when the first complainant went to Egbeda Police Station to report the fraud, he met the second and third complainants who also came for the same complain about the accused.
“The complainants reported the case to the police and efforts made by them to retrieve their money or have their accommodation proved unsuccessful as the accused has been on the run.
“He was later arrested and handed over to the police,” he said.
Awese said the offences contravened Sections 287 and 314 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015(Revised).
Section 314 prescribes 15 years jail term for obtaining money under false pretences.
The accused pleaded innocence of the offences and was granted bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.
The Magistrate, Mr J. A. Adigun, said that the sureties should be gainfully employed and show evidences of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
The case was adjourned until Dec. 28, for mention.