A Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja has ordered the remand of a lawyer, Lere Fashola, in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service for alleged N20 million property fraud.
Justice Sherifat Solebo ordered that Fashola, who is also the organiser of Esquire Nigerian Legal Awards, be kept in custody after he was arraigned before her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The lawyer was docked before the court alongside his company, Legal Blitz Limited on a three-count charge of stealing and issuance of dud cheques.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Justice Selebo order that he be kept in custody “pending the hearing and the determination of the bail application.
According to the judge, “The defendant is ordered to be remanded at the correctional facility.”
EFCC Prosecutor, Joy Amahian, said the defendants committed the offences in Lagos between Jan. 5 to Feb. 28, 2018, saying that the lawyer was arrested, following a petition by a client, Adeyemi Adebola, who alleged that Fashola had under false pretences, obtained N20 million from him during a transaction for the purchase of a property.
She said the property is located at Plot 732, Block XXVII (27), Omole Residential Scheme, Phase 2, Isheri, Lagos.
The anti-graft agency 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 alleged.
However, One of the counts reads: “That you, Lere Fashola Emmanuel and Legal Blitz Limited, between 5th of January 2018 and 28th day of February 2018, in Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, dishonestly converted for your own use the sum of Twenty Million Naira (N20,000,000.00) only property of Mr. Adewumi Adebayo and committed an offence contrary to Sections 278 (1) (f) and 285 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.”