A legal practitioner, Lere Fashola, was on Tuesday arraigned at the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, over an alleged N20 million fraud.
Fashola, who is the organiser of Nigeria Legal Award and his company, Legal Blitz Limited, were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three-count charge of stealing and issuance of dud cheques before Justice Sherifat Solebo.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Justice Solebo consequently ordered that he should be remanded at a correctional facility.
The judge did not name the correctional facility where Fashola would be remanded.
She said: “Pending the hearing and the determination of the bail application, the defendant is ordered to be remanded at the correctional facility.”
According to the EFCC prosecutor, Mrs. Joy Amahian, the defendants committed the offences in Lagos between January 5 and February 28, 2018.
According to the anti-graft agency, Fashola was arrested following a petition by a client, Mr. Adeyemi Adebola, who alleged that the lawyer had under false pretences obtained N20 million during a transaction for the purchase of a property.
The property is located at Plot 732, Block XXVII (27), Omole Residential Scheme, Phase 2, Isheri, Lagos.
The EFCC alleged that the defendant dishonestly converted to his own use the N20 million which was deposited by Adebola for the purchase of the property.
The prosecutor said: “Knowing that he had insufficient funds in his Diamond Bank Plc account, the defendant on June 4, 2018, issued a dud cheque with number 53160448 in the sum of N10 million.
“He also issued on June 4, 2018, another cheque with number 53160450 also in the sum of N10 million.
“Both cheques were issued to refund Adebola his money but were returned unpaid, due to insufficient funds.”
The offences contravene sections 278(1)(f) and 285(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011 and Section 1(1)(b) and (i) Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act 2004.
Following the arraignment, the defence counsel, Mrs Joy Agu, sought for an adjournment to enable her to serve the EFCC with a copy of the bail application.
Justice Solebo adjourned hearing on the bail application till February 10.