Court remands Lanre Smith in prison over $26,000 fraud

Court remands Lanre Smith in prison over $26,000 fraud

Justice Ibrahim Kala of the Federal High Court, Lagos yesterday remanded in Ikoyi Correctional Centre, a businessman Lanre Smith, charged with conspir

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Justice Ibrahim Kala of the Federal High Court, Lagos yesterday remanded in Ikoyi Correctional Centre, a businessman Lanre Smith, charged with conspiracy and fraud to the tune of $26,000.

Trial judge adjourned till February 5 to hear the defendant’s bail application.

Smith was arraigned before the court by the operatives of the Force Criminal Investigation Department Annex, Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos.

The prosecutor, Mike Enejere, during arraignment of the defendant, told the court that the defendant and others now are large, had sometimes on August 2016, conspired among themselves and conducted a financial transaction which involved proceeds of unlawful activity.

The prosecutor also told the court that the defendant and others deceived one Lindy Drake into depositing the sum of $26,000, which was paid into Well Fargo Account No. 1788790317 with Account name: Wilok Limited, operated by one Okwudili Okeke.

Enejere also told the court that the defendant with intend to defraud, obtained the sum N10.040million, from Wilok Limited, with the pretence that he had deposited the sum of $26,000, into Wilok Limited’s U.S account, a pretence he known to be false, as such funds was proceeds of unlawful activity.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the defendant contravened sections 8(a); 7(1)(a) and 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 7(2)(b) and 1(3) of the same Act.

The defendant, who is the founder of Grocedy Limited, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following the defendant’s plea, the prosecutor urged the court to remand him in prison, saying that the defendant had been evasive since the charge was filed against him.

The prosecutor, thereafter, asked for a trial date.

However, counsel to the defendant, Akin Apara, while moving his oral bail application, told the court that the defendant has been out of the country for sometimes, pleading with the court to admit him to bail.

He also pleaded with the court to allow him to take the custody of the defendant pending when his bail application would be filed and served on the prosecution.

The prosecutor objected and urged the court to discountenance the oral application, saying the court was a court of record.

Justice Kala, after listening to parties, order the defendant’s lawyer to file the necessary application and serve the same on the prosecutor.

The judge adjourned the matter to February 5 for commencement of trial and hearing of the bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional Facility.