Lagos lawyer arraigned for N117.3m fraud

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Henry Ojelu

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today arraigned a Lagos lawyer, Babatunde Ojo, over an alleged N117.3 million fraud.

Ojo was arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, alongside his company, Amberville Communications Ltd.

The 36-year old lawyer is facing a 48-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery and issuance of dud cheque.

The EFCC counsel, Mrs Vera Agboje, said Ojo committed the offences between April 2010 and August 2012 in Lagos.

Agboje said the defendant obtained the money from one Mr Matthew Awodiya and his firm, First Hebron Homes and Investment Ltd as part payment to purchase 50 Shops being constructed at Ajah area of Lagos.

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She said the shops were being constructed by Verod Capital Investment Ltd., and that the defendant forged the signature of one Mr Eric Idiahi, to facilitate the fraud.

The prosecutor also accused the defendant of issuing various Standard Chartered Bank cheques in favour of the complainant which were dishonoured when presented due to insufficient funds in his account.

She said Ojo’s alleged offences contravened Sections 1(3) and 8 (a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006.

According to her, it also contravene Sections 363 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 and 1(1)(a) of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act, Cap D11, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Ojo, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The judge ordered him to be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter till March 18 for trial.