Court Jails Developer’s Secretary 3 Years For Defrauding Accommodation Seekers

A 43 year-old Secretary to a property developer, Salawu Babatunde, was today, convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment for defrauding two accommodation seekers, by a Lagos Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Igbosere.

               The court presided over by Magistrate Mrs M.O Ope-Agbe, convicted and sentenced Babatunde, after admitting the facts of the case against him and according found him guilty of the offence of stealing.

            Magistrate Ope-Aigbe said that the sentence is to run concurrently.

            The convict who was first arraigned before the court on July 12, on a two count charge of stealing, had pleaded guilty to the charge and the case was adjourned today, for review of facts and sentence.

              Arraigning the convict on July 12, the Prosecutor Sergeant Cyriacus Osuji, had told the court that the convict committed the offence sometimes in May 2019.

             Osuju told the court that the said offence took place at 51, Oshodi Street, Lagos Island, adding that the convict stole N580,000, from two accommodation seekers, with a promise to give them an apartment.

            Osuji also told the court that the convict collected the sum of N300,000, from one Chinnoso Adiele and N280,000, from one Abiodun Adigun, for the same apartment.

               The offence according to the prosecutor is punishable under Section 287 of the criminal law of Lagos state 2015.

Despite the guilty plea of the convict when arraigned, Magistrate Ope- Aigbe, still admitted him to bail in the sum of N300,000, with one surety in like sum.

              She said that the surety must be gainfully employed, show evidence of tax payment to Lagos state government and have his address verified. While at the same time  adjourned till today, for review of facts and sentence.

             At the resumed hearing of the matter today, the convict was asked if he intend changing his earlier plea, but he still pleaded guilty to the charge.
           Consequently, the prosecutor was called upon to review facts of the case.
              Reviewing the facts of the case, Osuji, told the court that the convict was a secretary to one Alhaji Ogboye Kareem, who happens to be a property agent and a developer.
          He said “the convict at first collected the sum of N200,000, from Adiele, and remitted the money to his boss, Kareem, for the purpose of renting an apartment.

            “Babatunde, subsequently collected the sum of N300,000, and N280,000, from Adiele and Adigun, but failed to remit it to Kareem, instead he converted it to his personal use”.

             “When Babatunde’s boss discovered that he had collected such amount from the two accommodation seekers and converted it to his own use, Alhaji Kareem, handed him over to the police,” he said.

After the review of the facts, the magistrate pronounced the convict guilty of the offence and he was accordingly and sentence to three years jail term.

About Paul Sanusi, Lagos

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