A 37-year-old contractor, Prosper Kumah, was on Wednesday arraigned at a Lagos Magistrate Court, sitting at Igbosere, for allegedly swindling 16 construction site labourers of their wages worth N379, 000.
Kumah, a resident of 6, Balogun Street, Lekki-Epe area of Lagos, is standing trial on a two-count charge of fraud and stealing preferred against him by the police.
The prosecutor, Insp. Abbass Abayomi told the court that the defendant committed the alleged offences on September 14, at 4:00 p.m. at Adeyemi Lawson Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.
He said the defendant contracted 16 labourers at a construction site for manual labour, collected their wages worth N379, 000 from the owner of the site, posed as if he has paid the labourers but converted the money to his personal use.
Abayomi said the said money belonged to the labourers – Andrew Eze, Segun Akinola, Sunday Omowunmi, Aleshe Sikiru, Muhammad Awailu, Abilene Olamide, Malomo Lawrence, Makinde Lawrence, Tunde Obolo, Iseeb Bawa, Cuba John, Edom Ekena, Idowu Shamsudeen, Shola Oluwale, Ibikunle Adewale and Micheal Utameri.
According to him, the offences are punishable under Sections 287 and 323 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Magistrate, Mrs C. J. Momodu, granted him bail in the sum of N80, 000 with one surety in like sum.
She said that the surety must be gainfully employed and show evidence of tax payments to the Lagos State Government.
The case was adjourned till November 4 for mention.