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Lawyer arrested over N4.8m fraud

Federal High Court in Lagos
Federal High Court in Lagos
Federal High Court in Lagos

The police in Lagos have arrested a lawyer, Mr. Johnson Onumudu, for allegedly defrauding two women, Olufunke Afolabi and Adebisi Fajuigbe, of rents worth N4.8m.

It was learnt that the lawyer and his son, Chinedu, collected the sum from the women sometime in September 2014 to let out two office apartments on Fatai Arobieke Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos State to them.

While Afolabi reportedly paid N2.8m, Fajuigbe paid N2m to the duo.

It was  gathered the lawyer’s son, Chinedu, who claimed to be an estate agent, had met with the complainants in respect of the apartments before the payments were made.

Trouble started in January 2015 when the owner of the building questioned Afolabi’s authority while she was doing some renovation works in the apartment.

Our correspondent learnt that Afolabi petitioned the Divisional Police Officer of the Maroko Police Station, leading to their arrest.

The petition read in part, “Chief Johnson Anumudu and his son, Chinedu Anumudu, let a property on Fatai Idowu Arobieke Street, Lekki Phase 1, to Mrs. Olabisi (Fajuigbe) and Chinedu posed as an estate agent and led my agent and I to believe that the property belongs to his dad and he has a standing legal right to lease the property.

“To my dismay, On January 25, while carrying out works on the property, I was approached by a man, who said he was the owner of the property and that I was trespassing. The chief and his son had vehemently refused to clear the issue, as we had paid the rents to them. It was not until constant prodding from us that he (the chief) confessed that the property was not his, but he had legal possession of the property and that the case was before a court of appeal.”

It was gathered that the lawyer was released by the police after issuing First Bank cheques of N800,000 and N400,000 to Afolabi and Fajuigbe respectively. However, the cheques were reportedly rejected by the bank on the grounds of insufficient funds in the lawyer’s account.

Onumudu was consequently re-arrested and brought by a police prosecutor, Inspector Phillip Osijale, before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court on nine counts of fraud.

The charges read in part, “That you, Johnson Anumudu, sometime in September, 2014 on Fatai Idowu Arobieke Street, Lekki Phase 1, in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area, within the Lagos Magisterial District, did fraudulently obtain the sum of N2.8m from one Olufunke Afolabi and a sum of N2m from one Adebisi Fajuigbe under the pretences of renting them an office respectively.”

The presiding magistrate, Mrs. M. Owumi, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N500,000 and one other surety in like sum.

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