Ladipo Market ex-President accused of embezzling N46m, other funds

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By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH

LAGOS — Justice Olabisi Akinlade, of an Ikeja High court, was, yesterday,  told how the embattled former president of Aguiyi Ironsi International Market, known as Ladipo Market, Jonathan Okoli, allegedly failed to remit the sum of N46million trade permit to Lagos State Motor Vehicle Association Agency, MVAA.

This was exclusive of other funds he allegedly collected on behalf of the market’s association, but allegedly converted to his personal use.

A prosecution witness, Anthony Mark, led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, counsel, Anselem Ozioko,  said the defendant only remitted fund he allegedly collected from 430 shops instead of about 1,500 to government’s coffers.

According to the witness,  “In 2007 the Agency confirmed through the letter written to the association that he (defendant) only paid N700,000 out of the N8.7 million made that year.”

He said the letter indicated that state government should only collect N5,000 instead of the excess of N5,500 being paid by the traders.

Mark said apart from N5,500 being paid to MVAA, the traders at each shop in the market also paid N12,000 to Mushin local government annually.

The witness claimed the money allegedly paid between 2008 and 2009, amounting to N18.7million was diverted to the defendant’s personal account.

He alleged that the defendant failed to remit the sum of N8.5million collected from the traders in 2011 and 2012 to the state government instead, he allegedly paid same  to his personal account number 126101014690.

Okolie was arraigned on April 22, this year by the anti graft agency on a three-count charge of obtaining money by false pretences and stealing.

 

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