Court grants businessman N1m bail for alleged fraud

The defendant, who resides at Federal Housing Authority, Lugbe New Site, Abuja, is standing trial on a five-count charge of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, cheating, impersonation and forgery.

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The Senior Magistrate, Mrs Elizabeth Jones, ordered the defendant to produce two sureties in like sum.

Jones said that one of the sureties must be a civil servant on no less than Grade Level 10, whose office and resident must be within the jurisdiction of the court.

She said that the sureties must submit a passport photograph and evidence of utility bills each and adjourned the matter till Sept. 12 for further hearing.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Patrick Ebong, told the court that Benedict Igbadio of Abuja, reported the matter to the Commissioner of Police, FCT, Abuja.

Ebong said that sometimes in February 2016, the defendant and four others at large approached the complainant with a land document located at Lugbe layout, Abuja.

He said the defendant pretended to be the owner of the plot of land and collected the sum of N15 million from the complainant.

"After the transaction the real owner of the land emerged with genuine document of the land.

"In the course of investigation it was discovered that the defendant forged the land document and impersonated the real owner,’’ he said.

The prosecutor also said that the defendant made confessional statement during police interrogation.

He said the offences contravened sections 97, 312, 322, 179, 364 of the Pena Code, which the defendant pleaded not guilty.

Earlier, the Defence counsel, Uma Kalu, had made an oral application for the bail of his client.

Kalu said the defendant would not jump bail or interfere with the investigation.

But the prosecution opposed the application, contending that the defendant had jumped police bail twice.

He also said it took the police hours to locate and arrest the defendant.

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