Iyonsi Timeyin Timothy: denies love scam charge

Lagos resident Iyonsi Timeyin Timothy signalled readiness to fight to exculpate himself from a love scam charge on Wednesday when he told Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos, that he was not guilty of the charge.

He was arraigned by The Lagos Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a two-count charge bordering on possession of fraudulent documents and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of $4,500.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Iyonsi Timeyin Timothy , sometime in September, 2019, in Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $4,500.00 (Four Thousand, Five Hundred Dollars) from one Julia Zagorski under the false pretense to wit: “romance scam”, which pretence you knew to be false and committed an offence contrary to Sections 1 (1) (a)and 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act No: 14 of 2006.”

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But instead of agreeing to a plea bargaining, as in many recent cases, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Prosecution counsel, K. Uduak, asked the court for a trial date, and for the defendant be remanded in Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS), facility.

However, defence counsel, Jolone Ikomi, prayed the court for an amendment of the charge, so that the defendant could be charged under the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.” Ikomi also applied that his client be granted bail.

Justice Solebo granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N500, 000, with one surety in like sum.

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The surety, the judge said, must be a verified resident within the jurisdiction of the court.

The case was adjourned till March 18, 2020, for commencement of trial.