The police in Lagos State have arrested a 39-year-old man for allegedly parading himself as an employee of a telecommunications company to defraud land owners in the Ikorodu area of Lagos.
The suspect, Akintunde Abiodun, was said to have presented himself to the victims as a construction engineer, telling them that the company wanted to buy a parcel of land for the installation of a mast.
It was gathered that the land was jointly owned by four members of a family – Hassan Lukman, Muyinat Abari, Rashidat Abass and Olubunmi Osoko.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Abiodun had collected about N1m from his unsuspecting victims under the guise of helping them to process a survey plan that would enable them to sell the land for millions of naira to the company.
Our correspondent learnt that Abiodun collected the sum in installment between November and December 2015 to process the purported document, but subsequently disappeared.
The alleged fraud was reported to the police at the Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos, and a manhunt was launched for the suspect.
“The complainants wrote a petition to the zone, alleging that the suspect presented himself as a telecoms worker and collected N1.080m from them. Based on the petition, he was tracked down and arrested. We later found out that he is a fraudster and was not a worker with the telecoms firm,” a police source said.
Abiodun was subsequently brought before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court on Friday on four counts of fraud and conduct likely to cause breach of the peace.
A police prosecutor, Inspector Haruna Ibrahim, told the court that the charges, to which the defendant pleaded guilty, contravened sections 166, 285 (1) 312 and 378 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The charges read in part, “That you, Akintunde Abiodun, between November and December 2015, at the Ikorodu area in the Lagos Magisterial District, did obtain a sum of N1.080m from Hassan Lukman, Muyinat Abari, Rashidat Abass and Olubunmi Osoko under the false pretences of issuing a survey for their land to be used by Airtel for the construction of a mast.
“That you, on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did represent yourself as a construction engineer employed by Airtel and defrauded Hassan Lukman, Muyinat Abari, Rashidat Abass and Olubunmi Osoko of N1.080m, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 378 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.”
The presiding magistrate, Mrs. A.O. Komolafe, adjourned the case till December 8, 2016, for facts and sentence.