Mrs. Omolara Onamade, a female staff of Lagos State Lands Bureau, was on Monday docked at a Lagos High Court in Ikeja for allegedly swindling prospective land owners of N18.3 million.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Onamade, 41, was arraigned before Justice Lateefat Okunnu on 44 counts of stealing, forgery and uttering.
Mrs. Atinuke Daramola, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said the defendant, who resides at 5th Ave., B Close, House 9, Festac Town, Lagos, committed the fraud between 2009 and 2010.
Daramola alleged that Onamade had collected various sums of money from unsuspecting members of the public under the pretext of securing lands allocated by the Lagos State Government for them.
She said the defendant had promised to secure plots of land for the complainants, who included Pastor Olufemi Fadeyi and Mr. Rashid Adewale.
According to her, Onamade had promised that plots of land would be allocated to them at Fortune Garden Residential Scheme, Ogudu and Mosareju Aradagun Residential Scheme in Badagry.
Daramola further alleged that the defendant forged letters of land allocation purportedly signed by Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, Executive Secretary, Land Use Allocation Committee, which were issued in favour of the complainants.
She said Onamade also forged Lagos State Government revenue receipts purportedly issued by the Lagos State Lands Bureau to the complainants as confirmation that their applications for lands had been approved by the governor.
Daramola said the alleged offences contravened Sections 390,467 and 468 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State 2003.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and the judge granted her bail in the sum of N15 million with two sureties in like sum.
Okunnu directed that the sureties must be resident in Lagos, while one of them must own a landed property.
She also ordered that the defendant should report to the EFCC office once a month during the duration of the matter.
Trial has been adjourned till February14, 2013.