Clearing agent docked over alleged N1.7m fraud

A middle-aged clearing agent, Obimdike Chigozie, was on Wednesday docked before an Ojo Magistrates’ Court in Apapa, Lagos for allegedly obtaining N1,777,750 under the false pretence to clear a container.

Chigozie, whose address is unknown, is facing a two-count-charge bordering on fraud. The prosecutor, Insp. Simon Uche, told the court that the accused, committed the offences on Oct. 10, 2015, at Fidelity Bank, Trade Fair Complex in the Ojo Area of Lagos.

“The accused, on the said date and time, did obtain N1,777,750.000 from one Mbajekwe Chinedu, under the pretence that he would clear his container of goods from the Apapa Wharf.

“Since he failed to carry out the supposed service, Chinedu reported the case to the Police, which he admitted to be true and was asked to refund the money, which he accepted to, until it remained N770,750 to balance.

“The agent, Chigozie, then issued a Diamond Bank cheque for N700,000 to Chinedu, which was dishonoured on presentation at the bank for lack of funds,” he said.

According to Uche, the accused knew the cheque would bounce but because he wanted to dismiss the complainant, he decided to issue the bounced cheque.

The offences, Uche said, contravened the provisions of Sections 312 (a) and 319 (b) and punishable under Section 312(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

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

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Paul Adedamola, therefore, admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N100, 000 and a surety. He added that the surety, whose address must be verified, should present evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

Adedamola then adjourned the case to May 23, for hearing.

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