Pastor arraigned over N5.1m fraud charge

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A 47-year-old pastor, Olateju Oluwakemi, was on Monday brought before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, charged with duping a foreign exchange operator of N5.1 million.

Olateju, who resides at No. 17, Sabiu Ajose St., Surulere, Lagos State, is facing a three-count charge of obtaining by false pretence, issuance of a dishonoured cheque and stealing.

The prosecutor, Insp. Chris Takim, told the court that the accused had on Nov. 21, 2013 fraudulently obtained the sum of N5.1 million from one Joseph Alegieuno at 6Js Bureau De Change Ltd. Lagos.

According to Takim, the accused and her husband, Jide, approached the complainant, who is the Managing Director of 6Js, on Nov. 8, 2013 to sell $32,300 at the rate of N5.1 million.

He said that Olateju collected the amount while her husband stood as a guarantor for his wife.
The prosecutor said that the couple convinced the complainant to give them N4 million, which had drawn an accumulated interest of N1.2 million at an exchange rate of N160.00 per dollar.

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Takim said the accused promised to credit the complainant’s account within 90 days and issued a post dated N5.1 million First Bank Plc cheque with serial No. 28391214 and account no 2009844777, dated Nov. 21, 2013.

He explained that when the cheque was presented for payment, it was returned due to insufficient funds and the complainant’s effort to reach the accused thereafter was unsuccessful.

The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 312, 319 and 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

However, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Magistrate, Mr M.A Osinbanjo, granted the accused bail in the sum of N60,000 with two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case till March 19, for trial.

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