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Alleged N52m fraud: Ladipo market president gets N5m bail

An Ikeja High Court on Monday granted bail to Jonathan Okoli, President of Aguiyi Ironsi International Market otherwise known as Ladipo Market, standing trial for an alleged N52 million fraud.

Justice Olabisi Akinlade admitted Okoli’s bail in the sum of N5 million, with two sureties in like sum.

Akinlade said the sureties must be residents in Lagos State and deposed to an affidavit of means.

She further directed that one of the sureties must own a landed property in Lagos State.

“Both sureties must produce three years tax clearance payable to the Lagos State Government which should be verified by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Services (LIRS).

“The accused must give an undertaking to be of good behaviour and must not go to the market to cause trouble,” Akinlade said.

The judge warned that the court would not hesitate to revoke Okoli’s bail if there was concrete evidence that the accused was causing problems at the spare parts market.

She adjourned the matter till July 2 for trial.

Okoli was arraigned on April 22 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three-count charge of obtaining money by false pretences and stealing.

The EFCC counsel, Mr Anslem Ozioko, had alleged that the accused had between 2009 and 2010, obtained a total sum of N52 million from members of Aguiyi Ironsi International Market Traders Union.

Ozioko had said the money was entrusted to Okoli for the payment of Trade Permits and Auto Dealers fees by members of the association.

He had alleged that the accused fraudulently diverted the money, instead of making the payments to the Lagos State Government and the Mushin Local Government Council.

According to him, Okoli’s alleged offences contravened Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006.

Ozioko had said it also contravened Section 390(8) (b) and (9) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.

The offences for which Okoli is being charged attract between seven and twenty (20) years imprisonment.

The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charge. (NAN)


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