A civil servant, Joy Okafor on Friday told a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Gwagwalada, the Federal Capital Territory Abuja that a photographer, Ayodeji Festus, who paraded himself as a Nigeria Customs Service officer, swindled her of N1.9 million.
Okafor made the allegation while testifying during the resumed trial of the defendant on charges of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, cheating, obtaining decree not due and impersonation.
Led in evidence by Dabo Yakubu, the Prosecution Counsel, Okafor alleged that on May 21, 2020 while browsing her Facebook account she saw a post by one Grace Adebayo posing to be a customs officer, advertising cars for auction at affordable prices.
“I called her number and she told me that she was stationed in Seme border. I told her that I was interested in buying a Toyota Corolla and Mercedes, we bargained and agreed on N1.1millon and N1.2 million respectively. We agreed that I will pay the balance when they deliver the cars.
“She told me to pay N40,000 to book for the cars with my name and particulars and gave an account number of Using Dennis domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
“When I sent evidence of payment, she handed me over to one Mr Adeniyi, whom she said was a Deputy- Controller of Custom in charge of auction sales.
“The defendant played tricks on me and collected different amounts from me.
”When the demand became too much, I refused to send any more money. I paid N410,000 and N300,000 to the defendant’s account and when I refused to pay the balance they said the cars were returned to Lagos.
“So far I paid N1.9 million to various accounts but the cars were never delivered,” Okafor alleged.
During cross-examination, the defence counsel, Ropo Oyewole asked the witness if she knows anything about ”REMITA Platform”.
The witness said she believed all the defendant told her because all the papers used for the transactions have a customs logo and the Nigeria Coat of Arms.
The offences, the police said, contravened the provisions of sections 97, 312, 322, 115 and 179 of the Penal Code.
After listening to the testimony, Chief Magistrate Aliyu Shafa adjourned the case until March 3, for further hearing.