Agent docked over alleged N1m fraud

A 52-year-old clearing agent, Titus Okorie, on Thursday appeared before an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos over an alleged fraud of N1million.

Okorie, who resides at 19, Adekunle St., Surulere in Lagos, is facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and stealing.

The prosecutor, Insp. George Nwosu, told the court that the offences were committed on June 2, 2013 at the Tin Can Island Port in Apapa, Lagos State.

He said that the complainant, one Mr Oludare Hodonu, based in Canada, sent a container loaded with goods and money to the accused to clear for him.

According to the prosecutor, the accused diverted the money to other uses and absconded with the goods in the container after clearing it.

He said that the offences committed by the accused contravened Sections 285, 312 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 285 prescribes three years imprisonment for stealing, while the offence of conspiracy, according to Section 409, attracts two years imprisonment.

Also, Section 312(3) says that any person who obtains money under false pretences is liable to15 years imprisonment.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Olatunbosun Abolarinwa, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500,000, with two sureties in like sum.

He ordered that the sureties must show evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

Abolarinwa also ordered that the sureties must be residing in Lagos and show genuine means of livelihood.

He adjourned the case till Dec.11 for trial