A 40-year-old businessman, Kazeem Babatunde, who allegedly obtained N720,000, from three men on the pretext of procuring travelling documents to Dubai, was on Monday brought before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.
The accused, a resident of Lagos Island area of Lagos State, pleaded not guilty to a three-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretences and stealing.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Simeon Imhonwa, told the court that the accused collected N720, 000 from Francis Onyekachi, Lotana Livinus and Chinonso Akufurozo with a promise to get United Arab Emirate visas for them to go to Dubai.
According to him, the complainants paid the said amount to the accused in cash.
The prosecutor said that the accused, on August 13, 2016, December 15, 2016 and April 13, 2017 respectively, presented the complainants with electronic Dubai visas, employment contracts and letters of invitation to the complainants.
“But the complainants later discovered that the visas and documents were fake.
“The documents were produced in Oluwole area of Lagos Island, known for production of fake documents.
“When confronted about their finding, the accused told the complainants he had spent the money and started giving excuses.
“All efforts made by complainants to ensure that the accused refund their money were unsuccessful, as he started threatening their life through phone calls and text messages.
“The complainants reported the incident to the police and the accused was recently apprehended,’’ Imhonwa said.
The offences contravened Sections 287, 313 and 363 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).
Journalists reports that Section 313 prescribes a 15-year jail term for obtaining money under false pretences.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs B.O. Osunsanmi, granted the accused bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
Osunsanmi ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed, with evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
He adjourned the case until Aug. 24, for mention.