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Alleged N156m Theft: Police Arraign Bureau De Change Operator

The police yesterday arraigned a Bureau De Change (BDC) operator, Atoyebi Lateef Bamidele, a.k.a. Bam-Bam, before a Federal High Court, in Lagos on charges of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and stealing of N157 million.

The defendant, who operated with the name Prosocial International Limited, was arraigned before Justice Akintayo Aluko, by the officers of Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos.

His arraignment was sequel to a petition written to the police by Barrister Mejulu Henry, lawyer to the victim.

Arraigning the BDC operator, the prosecutor, S. O. Ayodele, told the court that the defendant and others now at large, between December 2022 and January 2023, allegedly obtained the total sum of N157. 206 million, with false pretence of getting the United States  dollars equivalence. The defendant was alleged to have diverted the money for his personal use.

According to the prosecutor, the defendant’s alleged unlawful acts, contravened sections 8(a) and 1(1)(c) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related offences Act; CAP A8 Vol 1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.

The prosecutor also told the court that offence of the stealing against the defendant contravened Section 383 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C 38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under section 390 (9) of the same Act.

However, the defendant denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In view of the defendant’s not guilty plea, the prosecutor urged the court to remand him till the determination of the charges.

But the lawyer to the defendant, Mr. E. A. Alafin, told the court that he had filed his client’s bail application and same has been served of the prosecution. He urged the court to admit his client to bail in the most liberal terms.

The prosecutor, however, opposed the application on the ground that he needed time to read through the application and file his response accordingly.

Consequently, Justice Aluko adjourned the matter till October 5, for hearing of the defendant’s bail application.

The judge also ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), till the adjourned date.

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