The Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja on Tuesday remanded a lawyer, Lere Fashola, in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service for alleged N20 million property fraud.
The trial judge, 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.
After his plea was taken, Justice Selebo order that he be kept in custody “pending the hearing and the determination of the bail application.
“The defendant is ordered to be remanded at the correctional facility,” the judge held.
According to the EFCC Prosecutor, Mrs Joy Amahian, the defendants committed the offences in Lagos between Jan. 5 to Feb. 28, 2018.
Amahian claimed that the lawyer was arrested, following a petition by a client, Adeyemi Adebola, who alleged that Fashola had under false pretences, obtained N20 million during a transaction for the purchase of a property.
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.
The EFCC counsel further stated, “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 claimed.
The EFCC lawyer insisted that the offences contravene sections 278(1)(f) and 285(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011 and Section 1(1)(b) and (i) Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act 2004.
Justice Solebo adjourned the case until February 10 for hearing of the bail application.