Man docked for alleged N1.4m scam

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A 51-year-old man, Daniel Ogbonna, was on Wednesday docked in a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for alleged N1.4 million ponzi scam.

The police charged Ogbonna with conspiracy, obtaining by false pretences, breach of public peace and theft.

He however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecution Counsel, Insp. Magaji Haruna, told the court that Ogbonna and some others at large committed the offence on Aug. 19, 2021 at the Saint Dominic Catholic, Sabo Yaba, Lagos.

Haruna alleged that Ogbonna persuaded Mr. Paul Ogwuche, the complainant, to invest N1.4 million in a ponzi scheme called” Grace Families and Friends (GFF)”.

He said Ogbonna had explained to the complainant that the purported scheme was going to yield N5 million in six weeks, a representation he knew to be false.

He submitted that Ogbonna also conducted himself in a manner that was likely to cause a breach of public peace.

The offence, Haruna noted, contravened the provisions of sections 168 (d), 287, 314 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (revised)

Reports state that Section 314 is punishable by 15 years imprisonment for obtaining under false pretences, while 287 stipulates three years imprisonment for the offence of stealing.

NAN also reports that Ponzi Scam is a fraudulent scheme where earlier investors are paid with the money taken from new investors, giving the impression that the scheme is a viable investment.

In her ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Mrs. O.Y. Adefope, granted Ogbonna bail in the sum of N300,000 with two responsible sureties in like sum.

She said that the sureties must be gainfully employed and show six months bank statements.

Adefope adjourned the case until Dec. 16, for mention.