A savings collector, Omowunmi Abolade, was on Wednesday arraigned before a Tinubu Magistrate’s Court for allegedly diverting a sum of N8 million belonging to her customers. The 22-year-old woman appeared before a Chief Magistrate, Mrs. K.B. Ayeye, on three counts of obtaining money under false pretences.
Abolade and four others at large had an office in Sangotedo community of the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, where they used to run the savings business. They persuaded unsuspecting members of the public to save money with them with a promise to give them loans to start or expand their business in the nearest future.
As of July 2016, the syndicate was said to have collected N8m from one Friday Eworo, Olayiwola Tobilola, Okafor Augustine and 10 other customers.
They reportedly shut the office and fled with the sum while their victims tried in vain to retrieve their respective contributions.
The alleged fraud was later reported at the Elemoro Police Division and Abolade was arrested.
A police prosecutor, Inspector Nurudeen Thomas, told the court on Wednesday that the offence committed by the defendant contravened sections 285, 312 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The charges read in part, “That you, Omowunmi Abolade and four others now at large, sometime in the month of July, 2016, at about 10am at Sangotedo town, in the Eti-Osa LGA, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: obtaining money under false pretences and stealing.
“That you, and four others at large, did unlawfully obtain the sum of N8m from one Friday Eworo, Olayiwola Tobilola, Okafor Augustine and 10 others, under the pretence that you will give them loans which are to be paid back with certain interest rates at a given period, knowing same to be false, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 312 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.”
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty and chose summary trial.
The magistrate granted her bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum, adding that the sureties must be gainfully employed and must tender evidence of Lagos State tax clearance to the court.
The case was adjourned till September 7, 2016.