Clearing agent in court over alleged N1.5m fraud

A 35-year-old clearing agent, Chidibere Mmayie, was yesterday arraigned before a Surulere Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, over an alleged N1.5 million fraud.

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

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

Salami said that the complainant, one Mr Nicholas Ojumah, based in America, had sent a container loaded with goods to the accused, to clear for him.

He alleged that the complainant also gave money to the accused for the clearing of the goods.

According to the prosecutor, the accused diverted the money for other uses and absconded with the goods in the container after he eventually cleared them.

Salami said that the offences contravened Sections 285 ,312 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. Section 285 prescribes a three-year imprisonment for stealing, while Section 409 stipulates two years jail term for conspiracy. 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, Mrs M.O. Olajuwon , granted the accused bail in the sum of N200,000, with two sureties in like sum, and adjourned the case till Jan.12, 2015 for trial.

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