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Ex-PUNCH worker Olusegun Ogunbanjo docked for N998m fraud

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By Ngozi Njoku

A former employee of Punch Nigeria Ltd., Olusegun Ogunbanjo, has been arraigned by the Lagos State Government over alleged N998 million fraud.

Ogunbanjo, whose residential address was not provided, was arraigned on eight counts bordering on conspiracy to commit felony to wit obtaining under false pretence, stealing and forgery.

The prosecution told the court that the defendant with others still at large allegedly committed the offences between January 2017 and December 2022 in Ikorodu, Lagos.

In one of the charges, the prosecution alleged that Ogunbanjo fraudulently obtained the sum of N417 million from one Mr Durodola Balogun on the pretext that he was going to use the money to purchase stationaries and supplies for financing Local Purchase Order from Punch Nigeria Ltd.

The prosecutor also alleged the defendant fraudulently collected N581 million from one Mr Olusola lkuyajesin under the guise of purchasing stationaries and supplies for financing Local Purchase Order from Punch Nigeria Ltd.

The state counsel told the court that the defendant allegedly stole and converted the sum of $5,000, property of lkuyajesin to his personal use.

The prosecution also alleged that the defendant forged Punch Local Purchase Orders.

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The prosecutor said the alleged offences violate Sections 411 (2) 314, 285, 287 and 365 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State (2015)

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Following his not guilty plea, the state Counsel, Mrs Q.T. Shomade, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed that the defendant be remanded in prison, pending the hearing and the determination of his bail application.

The Defence Counsel, Mr T.E. Okeke, informed the court that he was appearing for the first time in the matter and that he needed ample time to file the bail application.

Okeke pleaded with the court for a closer date for him to file and move the bail application on behalf of his client.
“My lord, I plead for a closer date to tender an application to grant the defendant bail,” he said.

Justice Ismail Ijelu, thereafter, remanded Ogunbanjo in Kirikiri Correctional Centre pending the hearing and determination of his bail application.
Ijelu told the defence that the court would have looked into the bail application if it was ready.

“If you had your application, the court would have looked into it but while we wait for it, the defendant should be remain at the correctional facility,” he said.

The judge adjourned the case until Oct.16 for commencement of trial. (NAN)

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