Court remands BDC operator over alleged N156m theft
For allegedly obtaining by false pretence and stealing N157 million, a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, yesterday, remanded a Bureau De Change (BDC) operator, Atoyebi Lateef Bamidelee, in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS).
Justice Akintayo Aluko remanded Bamidele, who trades under the name, Prosocial International Limited, after he was arraigned on the charge filed against him by officers of Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID), Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos.
The defendant was arraigned sequel to a petition to the police by Alaba traders, through their lawyer, Mr Mejulu Henry.
The prosecutor, S. O. Ayodele, told the court that the defendant and others, now at large, between December 2022 and January 2023, obtained a total sum of N157, 206 million, under false pretence of getting the United States dollars (USD) equivalent from traders in Alaba, Lagos.
He told the court that the defendant collected the money from the traders’ representative, Mrs. Priscillia Oyiowo, through one Obinna Ozuah, and diverted same for his personal use.
According to the prosecutor, his offences contravened the provision of sections 8(a) and 1(1)(c) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related offences Act; CAP A8 Vol 1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.
Ayodele further told the court that the defendant also contravened the provision of Section 383 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C 38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under section 390 (9) of the same Act.
But the defendant, denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following his plea, the prosecutor urged the court to remand him till the determination of the suit.
But the defendant’s counsel, E. A. Alafin, told the court that he has filed his client’s bail application and same has been served on the prosecution.
He prayed the court to admit his client to bail in the most liberal terms.
But the prosecutor opposed the bail application on the ground that he needs to file his response.
After listening to their submission, Justice Aluko adjourned the matter to October 5, for hearing of the defendant’s bail application.
The judge ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) till the next adjourned date.
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