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Travel agent in court over alleged N2.1m visa fraud

The police in Lagos on Wednesday arraigned a 43-year-old travel agent, Kabiru Adewale, charged with obtaining N2.1 million under false pretense.

Court

Adewale appeared a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy to defraud, stealing and obtaining by false pretense.

The defendant, who resides in Mushin, Lagos, however, pleaded not guilty before Chief Magistrate Oluwatoyin Oghere, who released him on  bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in like sum.

Oghere said that one of the sureties must be a blood relation of the defendant and reside within the court’s jurisdiction.

She directed that the sureties must be gainfully employed and have  evidence of three years’ tax payment to Lagos State Government.

Oghere adjourned the case until Aug. 7 for trial.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Sgt. Modupe Olaluwoye, told the court that the defendant committed the offences sometime in June in Apapa.

She said that the complainant, Mr Uthman Musbau, made electronic transfers from his First Bank account to the defendant to take care of his travel logistics.

According to Olaluwoye, the defendant had promised to procure an Australian visa, a flight ticket and  hotel reservation for Musbau.

She said that Musbau forged the  visa and flight ticket.

“My lord, it was at the airport that the complainant discovered that the ticket and visa were fake.

“He was seriously embarrassed and almost arrested at the airport for trying to travel with a fake ticket and visa.

“Musbau reported the case to the police, and an investigation was conducted. That was how Adewale was arrested in Oyo State,” Olaluwoye said.

The alleged offences contravene Sections 411, 314 and 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).

Section 314 stipulates 15 years’ imprisonment for obtaining by false pretences, while stealing carries three years’ jail term.

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