James Bankole, a 54-year old man was yesterday arraigned before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ court for allegedly defrauding his church member, Mrs Uzoma Akubueze of N850, 000.
Bankole, it was alleged fraudulently collected the money from Mrs Akubueze on the pretext of procuring Australian visa for her.
Bankole, 54, resident at 64, Coates Street, Ebute Meta Lagos, is facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, stealing and false pretences before Chief Magistrate Mrs T.A. Ojo.
Prosecuting Police officer, Sergeant (Sgt.) Nomayo Kenrich, told the court that Bankole committed the offences with one other person now at large on July 16 in Surulere, Lagos.
Kendrich said: “the accused collected the money from the complainant with a promise to secure her an Australian Visa and also book hotel accommodation for her but failed as promised”, he alleged.
He said that rather than obtain the visa, the defendant converted the money of the complainant to personal use.
He said the defendant wrote a letter, undertaking to refund the said money to the complainant but failed to do so.
He said all attempts made to retrieve the money from Bankole failed.
The defendant however pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs T. A Ojo, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N100,000 with two responsible sureties in like sum.
Ojo said the sureties must be gainfully employed with an evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government and have their addresses verified by the court.
She added that the sureties must be blood relations of the defendant and also reside within the court’s jurisdiction.
Chief Magistrate Ojo adjourned the case until January 2 for hearing.