The police in Lagos Tuesday charged a Lagos-based lawyer, Oladotun Hassan, and three others before a Federal High Court in Lagos, for allegedly defrauding a widow, Mrs. Eva Okoh of the sum of N20. 5 million.
The lawyer and his co-accused persons, Sherifatu Omotayo, Bakare Tajudeen and Aderemi Daniel were charged before Justice Chuka Obiozor by the men of Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force on a seven count charge of conspiracy inducement, obtaining under false pretence, false representation and fraudulent conversion.
The defendants according to the police in a charge marked FHC/L/379c/18, between May 2017 and August 2018, conspired among themselves and fraudulently obtaining the said money from their victim under false pretence.
The police also stated that the defendants defrauded the victim under the false pretence that the money will be used for ratification of two plots of land situated at Ado Road, Ajah, Lagos, which she purchased from Chief Fatai Olumegbon Chieftaincy title Family.
The police also alleged that the defendants collected the said money from the widow through a First Bank account 3017146251, belonging to Bakare Olamiji Tajudeen.
The lawyer was alleged to have falsely received the sum of N500, 000,00, from the widow, with the understanding that he will use the money to hire the services of Military and police officers to guard and protect the said land.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Chukwu Agwu, a Superintendent of Police, are contrary to sections 8(a), 1(a)(c)(3), 1(b)(c) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other related Offences 2006 and 15(1)(a)(b) of Money Laundering (Prohibited) Act, 2011 (as amended in 2012).
The prosecutor also informed the court that the lawyer and the first defendant, Sherifatu Omotayo are at large and that police are making frantic efforts in getting them arrested. He therefore urged the court to taken the plea of the two defendants who were in court.
Following the prosecutor’s submission, the plea of Bakare Olamiji Tajudeen and Aderemi Adesoji Ayantunde, were taken and they pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Upon their not guilty plea, the prosecutor urged the court to remand them in prison custody pending the hearing and determination of their bail application.
Consequently, Justice Obiozor adjourned this matter till March 28, April 16, May 2 and 5 for trial, ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.
He, however, stated that the defendants’ bail applications can be filed and determined during the dates fixed for trial.