By Nike Adekunle –
For allegedly defrauding her lover of a car and landed property valued at about N1.8million, a 39-year-old businesswoman, Grace Bello, was on Thursday brought before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court, Lagos.
Bello, a resident of Dopemu area of Lagos State, is facing trial on charges of fraud and stealing.
After her plea of ‘not guilty’ to the charges, the Magistrate, Mrs A.O. Gbajumo admitted her to a bail of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.
According to the prosecutor, Sgt. Michael Unah, the accused committed the offences sometime in the month of January, 2014 at Bighoro Street in Ayobo area of Lagos.
Unah said the accused fraudulently obtained N1million and N800,000 for two plots of land and a car respectively from her lover, Mr Benson Peters.
“The accused approached the complainant, persuaded him to buy two plots of land from her one acre of land in Ajah, Lagos.
“She collected N1million from the complainant, but she is yet to show him the land, or refund his money,” Unah said.
The prosecutor said that the accused also collected the complainant’s Nissan Quest car on the pretext of helping him to sell it.
“The complainant had placed a`For sale` sign on the car at the rate N800,000; and the accused told him that she had a friend who wanted to buy the car.
“She took the car from him on the pretext of showing it to her friend who wanted to buy it.
“The accused converted the car to her own, and took it to an unknown destination.
“All efforts made by the complainant since 2014 to retrieve his car and get back his money for the land proved unsuccessful as the accused refused to pick her calls.
“When the accused was later arrested after three years of her disappearance, she claimed that the car was snatched from her by robbers in March 2016.
“She also confessed that the land she sold for the complainant never exist,” the prosecutor said.
Unah said the offences contravened sections 285 and 312 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Section 312 prescribes 15 years imprisonment for the offence if found guilty of fraud.
The case was adjourned to April 24 for mention.