Clearing agents docked for N19m fraud



Two clearing agents, Okechukwu Okpe and Michael Nwafor, were on Thursday arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, for allegedly obtaining N19 million from an Indian man under the pretext of clearing his goods.

The accused, Okpe, 51 and Nwafor, 49, are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and stealing, preferred against them by the Police.

The prosecutor, Inspector Steven Molo, told the court that the defendants committed the alleged offences on February 15, 2016, at 10 a. m, at 55, Martins Street, Lagos Island.

Molo said they fraudulently obtained N19 million from the complainant, Bhagu Chugan, under the guise of clearing four 40-feet containers from Apapa Port for him.

He said the containers contained 4,600 of ceramic pots valued at N75 million.

He said, “The defendants knew that the representation they made to the complainant was false.

“They did not clear the four containers and did not return the complainant’s money to him.”

However, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In her ruling, Magistrate O. O. Oshin granted them N1 million bail each, with two sureties each in like sum.

She said the sureties must show evidence of six years tax payment to the Lagos State government, must be related to the defendants and have a registered company.

Oshin said the sureties must also have at least N500,000 in their bank accounts and have their addresses verified by the court. She adjourned the case till July 13 for mention.