Court gavel

By Paul Iyoghojie

A 35-year-old man, who claimed to be a pastor with the Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel), Sango-Ota, Ogun State, Micheal Njoteah, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment for obtaining N2.1 million under false pretence.

Magistrate O. O. Adeshina sentenced the convict without an option of fine.

She ordered that the sentence should take effect March 11.

The magistrate found Njoteah guilty on the count of obtaining money under false pretence and discharged him on the other counts.

Njoteah was arrested by the operatives of the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Force Headquarters, Obalende, Lagos.

He was first arraigned on April 18, 2019, on a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and stealing.

He pleaded not guilty and was granted N450, 000 bail with two sureties in like sum.

During trial, the Prosecutor, Sgt. Friday Mameh, however, called five witnesses, adding that the defendant committed the offences sometime in 2017 and 2018 in Lagos.

Mameh said that Njoteah fraudulently obtained the sum of N1.3 million from the complainant, one Samuel Ezeoha, on the pretext of procuring an Australian visa for him.

According to Mameh, the defendant did not procure the visa.

He said the defendant also obtained the sum of N850, 000 from another person, one Chukwunonso Okeke, under guise of procuring visa for him but failed to do so.

Mameh told the court that the defendant also induced other people to visit Lagos State from other states with the intent of defrauding them.

He said the total money fraudulently obtained by the defendant was N2.1 million.

According to Mameh, the offences contravened Sections 287, 314 318 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendant, however, told the court that he was not a visa agent but collected the money from the complainants in order to connect them with a visa agent.

Njoteah told the court that he gave all the money to the visa agent.