A 32-year-old teacher, Naphtali Ashogbon, who allegedly swindled a driver out of N310,000 for Dubai visa was on Thursday brought before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.
Ashogbon collected the money on the pretext of obtaining a Dubai visa, getting a work permit and securing a job for the complainant, Mr Sunday Ugwu.
The defendant, who resides in Oworonshoki area of Lagos, is being tried on a two-count charge of stealing and obtaining by false pretence.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Prosecutor, Sgt. Modupe Olaluwoye, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on March 28, at No. 7, Olugbesan str., Oworonshoki, Lagos.
She said that the complainant had made various electronic transfers from his UBA account to the defendant’s First Bank account to process his visa and work permit.
According to her, the defendant claimed to be a travel agent and had promised to procure Ugwu a Dubai visa, work permit and secure him a well paying job.
Olaluwoye told the court that the defendant had also promised to rent accommodation for the complainant; a representation he knew to be false.
“My Lord, the defendant is a primary school teacher and has never processed visa or any form of travel documents for anyone.
“He defrauded the complainant out of N310,000 and would have collected more, if he did not realize his fraud on time.
“The defendant kept on showing the complainant false documents to trick him into paying more money.
“Ugwu reported the case to the police and an investigation was conducted, that was how Ashogbon was arrested in Ondo State,” Olaluwoye said.
The offences contravened Sections 314 and 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 314 stipulates 15 years imprisonment for the offence of obtaining by false pretence, while stealing carries three years.
Chief Magistrate Oluwatoyin Oghere admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.
She said that one of the sureties must be a blood relation of the defendant, residing within the court’s jurisdiction.
Oghere, further directed that the sureties must be gainfully employed with evidence of three years’ tax payment to Lagos State Government.
Oghere adjourned the case until Aug. 7 for trial.