LAGOS, Nigeria – An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday remanded Lere Fashola, the organiser of Esquire Nigerian Legal Awards at the correctional facility over alleged N20 million property fraud.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fashola, a lawyer, is also the publisher of Esquire Law Magazine.
Fashola and his company, Legal Blitz Ltd were arraigned by the Advanced Fee Fraud Section of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three-count charge of stealing and issuance of dud cheques.
Following his not guilty plea to the charges, Justice Sherifat Solebo ordered that the award organiser be remanded at a correctional facility.
Solebo did not name the correctional facility where Fashola would be remanded.
“Pending the hearing and the determination of the bail application, the defendant is ordered to be remanded at the correctional facility,” Solebo said.
According to the EFCC Prosecutor, Mrs Joy Amahian, the defendants committed the offences in Lagos between Jan. 5 to Feb. 28, 2018.
According to the anti-graft agency, the lawyer was arrested, following a petition by a client, Mr Adeyemi Adebola, who alleged that Fashola had under false pretences, obtained N20 million during a transaction for the purchase of a property.
The property is located at Plot 732, Block XXVII (27), Omole Residential Scheme, Phase 2, Isheri, Lagos
The EFCC alleged that the defendant dishonestly converted to his own use, N20 million which was deposited by Adebola for the purchase of the property.
“Knowing that he had insufficient funds in his Diamond Bank Plc account, the defendant on June 4, 2018, issued a dud cheque with number 53160448 in the sum of N10 million.
“He also issued on June 4, 2018, another cheque with number 53160450 also in the sum of N10 million.
“Both cheques were issued to refund Adebola his money but were returned unpaid due to insufficient funds,” Amahian said.
The offences contravene sections 278(1)(f) and 285(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011 and Section 1(1)(b) and (i) Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act 2004.
NAN reports that after the arraignment, the Defence Counsel, Mrs Joy Agu, sought for adjournment to enable her serve the EFCC with a copy of the bail application.
Obliging her request, Solebo adjourned the case until Feb. 10 for hearing of the bail application.