For allegedly duping two accommodation seekers of N490,000, a 36-year-old estate agent, Appollos Obichi, was on Thursday brought before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.
Obichi, a resident of Surulere area of Lagos, is being tried for obtaining money under false pretences and stealing.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Victor Eruada, told the court that the accused committed the offences on Feb. 21 at Mushin, Lagos.
He said the accused obtained N490,000 from two accommodation seekers on the pretext of letting out apartments to them.
“He collected N370,000 from Fatimat Ali on the pretext of letting out a mini-flat in Surulere.
“Obichi also obtained N120,000 from Aisha Rasheedat for a room self-contained apartment in Western Avenue, Surulere,” the prosecutor alleged.
Eruada said the complainants paid the money into the bank account of the accused after they had inspected the apartments.
“The accused took the complainants to the houses, he asked them to pay the money into his bank account which they did.
“The complainants went to the houses after payment, but the landlords denied them the houses, saying they do not know the accused.
“The complainants’ efforts to retrieve their money or have their accommodation proved unsuccessful.
“Obichi was arrested and handed over to the police,” he said.
The offences contravened Sections 287 and 314 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
Section 314 prescribes 15 years jail term for obtaining money under false pretences.
The accused pleaded not guilty. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs M. I. Dan-Oni, granted the accused N100,000 bail with two sureties in like sum.
Oni said the sureties should be gainfully employed with an evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
The case was adjourned until June 28 for mention.