EFCC Arraigns Suspected Land Racketeer for Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, December 22, 2016 arraigned one Olajide Dele Oyegbami before Justice M. A. A. Abass of the High Court of Oyo State sitting in Ibadan, on one-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N2.5million.
Oyegbami’s journey to the dock followed a petition to the EFCC alleging that sometime in 2015, the defendant collected the sum of N3.6million in two tranches from the petitioner ostensibly as cost price of two plots of land situated at Ile-Tuntun, behind DSS Estate, off Elenusonso Road, Ido Local Government Area. After making payment, the petitioner realized that the land was in dispute and had been sold to another person. When he requested for his money, the defendant refunded N1.1million (One Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira) and refused to pay the balance.
The offence is contrary to Section 1 (2) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.
The count reads: “That you, Olajide Dele Oyegbami on or about the 10th of November, 2016, at Ibadan within the Ibadan Judicial Division of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of Two Million and Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N2,500,000.00) only from one Egbeyemi Akinropo Enitan by falsely pretending that it was the cost price of two plots of land situated, lying and being at Ile-Tuntun, behind DSS Estate, off Elenusonso Road, Ido Local Government Area, which you purported to have sold to him”.
The accused, however pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In view of his plea, counsel to EFCC, Ben Ubi prayed the court for a trial date and for the remand of the defendant in prison custody. But, the defence counsel, S. S. Akinyele, told the court that he had a pending application dated December 22, 2016 asking for bail of the accused which he said had been served on the prosecution just before the court’s sitting. He prayed the court to grant the defendant bail.

Justice Abass admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N5million and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must have landed properties within the Ibadan Jurisdiction and must provide the original documents of the properties which should be verified by the court.
The matter has been adjourned to January 11, 2017 for trial, while the defendant is to be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of the bail condition.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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