By Paul Iyoghojie

Operatives of the Force Intelligence Bureau at the Force Headquarters Annex, Obalende, Lagos have dragged a 35-year-old Pastor, Michael Njoteah before a Lagos Magistrate Court for allegedly obtaining N2,150,000 from two complainants under false pretence to procure Australian Visa for them.

Police alleged that the accused collected N1,300,000 from Samuel Ezeoha, property of Chukwunoso Charles Umeigbo and N850,000 from Chukwunoso Okeke to procure Australian Visa for them, but that after the accused collected the money, he escaped and failed to provide the Visa for the complainants.

Police further alleged that following a petition, a team led by Inspector Jamiu Wisa swung into action and arrested the accused at a hide out and charged him before the Igbosere Magistrate Court on a five-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence and stealing.

Police Counsel, Friday Mameh told the court in charge No Q/28/2019 that the accused committed the offence between 2017 and 2018 in Lagos.

Mameh informed the court that the accused introduced himself as a pastor to the complainants and deceived them that he was a Visa agent and that he could procure Australia Visa for them to travel abroad and that the complainants believed him since he claimed to be a Pastor and paid him the sum of N2,150,000 to procure the Visas for them.

He said the accused failed to procure the Visa and that instead, absconded with the money before he was arrested, adding that the offences committed were punishable under sections 411, 314 and 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the alleged offence and Magistrate A. O. Olukemi granted him bail in the sum of N150,000 with two sureties in like sum.

Olukemi adjourned the case till 13 May, 2019 for mention and ordered that the defendant be kept at the Ikoyi Prison, Lagos till he perfected the bail conditions.