On Tuesday, a middle-aged woman, Owolabi Falilat, was charged in an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court for fraudulently obtaining N850,000 as a monthly contribution.
Falilat, whose address and age were not provided, is charged with three counts of fraud and obtaining under false pretences.
She, on the other hand, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Prosecutor Insp. Matthew Amos, who was filling in for Insp. Ajayi Emmanuel, told the court that Falilat was arrested on Jan. 13 after numerous failed police attempts.
According to Amos, the defendant collected a total of N850,000 from one Samuel Florence, Aluko Falilat, and Aminat Ogunmokun between July 2021 and April 2022 under the guise of monthly contributions.
He also told the court that Falilat, had from July to December 2022, threatened to deal with the contributors using social media, sending threat messages and voice notes via WhatsApp and phone calls.
The prosecutor said the offence contravened Section 412 and others, punishable under sections 314 and 56 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.
The Counsel for Defence, Akintan Olukayode, told the court that his client and the co-contributors were already discussing settlement out of court.
Olukayode said: “My client and the contributors are friends and never intended to bring the matter before the court.
“The complainants have agreed with the defendant on when and how the defendant will pay the money out of court.’’
The presiding Magistrate, Mrs I. O Raji, who appeared displeased with the parties’ demeanour, asked if the complainants used the court as a threatening tool.
Raji warned that the court was a place for serious business; and asked the defence counsel to apply for bail.
She therefore, admitted the defendant to N150,000 bail and two sureties, of which, one must be a relative.
She then adjourned the case until Jan. 21, for further mention. (NAN)