A 50-year-old suspected fake estate agent, Obatele Olayiwola, who allegedly defrauded an accommodation seeker of N600, 000, on Wednesday appeared before an Ogudu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State.
Olayiwola who resides at Bariga, Lagos, is facing a two-count charge of obtaining under false pretense and stealing.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The police alleged that the defendant obtained N600, 000 from one Mrs Jumoke Okoroji, with a promise to secure a bedroom apartment for her but failed.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Donjour Perezi, told the court that the defendant committed the offences sometime in October at noon at Bariga.
Perezi said that the defendant conducted himself in a manner likely to cause breach of the peace by obtaining the sum and failing to provide the accommodation.
“The complainant was in need of accommodation; he contacted an agent called ‘Chief’ who introduced her to the defendant.
“He collected the said amount from the complainant for one and half years and even showed her an apartment which was under renovation.
“He told her that she could move in after the renovation but that was not the case.
“The complainant went back after some days to check if the renovation had been completed only to discover it had been rented out to another person who had already moved in.
“To her greatest surprise she was told that the defendant wasn’t the person in charge of the said property; all efforts to get back her money had been abortive,’’ the prosecutor said.
The alleged offences violate Sections 287 and 314 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 314 prescribes a 15-year jail term for false pretences, while Section 287 stipulates a seven-year imprisonment for stealing.
The Magistrate, Mrs Bukola Mogaji, granted the defendant N100, 000 bails with two sureties in like sum.
The magistrate adjourned the case until Jan. 20, 2020, for mention.