Woman Remanded Over N114m Fraud

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Operatives of the Special Fraud Unit, Milverton Street, Ikoyi, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, have dragged a petroleum dealer, Evelyn Martins, 38, before the Igbosere Magistrate’s Court on a 30-count charge of obtaining money from about 15 companies and 15 individuals who allegedly supplied her petroleum products. He was to sell the products and refund the proceeds to them.

She allegedly refused to refund their money and converted it to herself.

The police alleged in the charge sheet P/26/2011 that the accused allegedly betrayed the trust reposed in her by her clients in the petroleum industry who allegedly supplied her various petroleum products of 33,000 litres of AGO and 66,000 DPK valued at about N114 million on credit to sell and refund the proceeds after making her profits, but she allegedly converted the proceeds to herself.

The police further alleged that instead of the woman to pay back the proceeds from the sale of the products, she allegedly issued dud cheques to some of them bearing Zenith Bank cheque No.00000032 of N2,157,000 to one Ibe Emeka Anthony, Skye Bank cheque No.10000172 of N6,996,000 to Top Notch Intergrated Solutions Ltd, and UBA Bank cheque No.00000035 of N1,000,000 to Lord Strong Ventures, knowing full well that there was insufficient fund in her account.

After efforts by the companies and individuals to recoup their money from the woman proved abortive, they reported the matter to the police and she was arrested.

After investigation, she was arraigned before the Igbosere Magistrate’s court for fraud.

The offences, according to the prosecutor, Inspector Frank Inah, are contrary to and punishable under Section 419, 390 8(b) and (9) of the Criminal Code, Cap. C17, vol. ii, laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003 and Dishonoured Cheques Offences Act Section 1 of the Criminal Code, Cap. D11, Vol. ii, LFN 2004.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and the presiding magistrate, C.J. Momodu, granted her bail in the sum of N80 million with two sureties who must provide evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State government for 10 years.

She adjourned the case till 26 July while the accused was ordered remanded in Ikoyi Prison when she could not meet her bail conditions.

–Paul Iyoghojie