By Abdulwahab Abdulah
LAGOS â€” A couple who engage in swindling unsuspected prospective tenants have been arraigned before an Abule-Egba Magistrate Court for fraudulently collecting over N1.5 million from 22 unsuspecting individuals, promising to give them accommodation.
The 50-year-old Bahirate Salako and his wife Oluremi were docked on a three-count charge of allegedly fraudulently collecting the money from their victims for a four-room vacant apartment without renting it out to any of them.
Mr. and Mrs. Salako who were charged along with one Afolabi Akingbesola were alleged to have on March 13, 2009 at Shasha in Akowonjo area of the state, collected about N1,586,000 from 22 persons seeking accommodation but failed to provide them with same.
The trios were alleged to have publicly advertised vacancy for four one-bedroom apartments but eventually collectedÂ money from each of the 22 house seekers who were not aware of the ploy.
When the charge was read to them, they pleaded not guilty to the allegation and were granted bail by the presiding Magistrate, Mr. Abiodun Adefulire, in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in the like sum.
The sureties, according to the court, must be a resident of Lagos State with a traceable addresses.
However, in a twist of event, the couple have undertaken to refund part of the money to the victims.
Reacting to the admittance, the presiding Magistrate conceded to their request and gave them within one month to pay as they agreed after which the criminal charge against them might continue or be withdrawn by the prosecutor.
The case has been adjourned to July 29.