Dozie Okoli, a 35-year-old compensation agent, was brought before a Superior Court of Magistrates of Ikeja in Lagos State on Thursday for allegedly stealing N55.4 million.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Okoli, whose address was not given in court, is on trial for a conspiracy charge of three counts, which is obtained under pretenses and theft.
The prosecutor, ASP Peter Nwangwu, told the court that the defendant committed the crimes on October 26, 2017, in the area of Agege in Lagos, at 2:30 p.m.
Nwangwu said the defendant obtained the sum of N55.4 million from the plaintiff, an Alanna Eugene, Managing Director of New Gate Asia Pacific Industrial Ltd.
He said that the defendant obtained the money under the pretext of cleaning seven containers of goods from the port of Cotonou in the Republic of Benin on his behalf.
“The defendant obtained the plaintiff’s money to release and secure the release of his seven freight containers from the port of Cotonou within two weeks, but he was unable to empty the bins.
“Okoli converted the money for his personal use, and he escaped. “All the efforts made by the plaintiff for the defendant to reimburse the money failed,” Nwangwu said.
According to him, the offenses contravene articles 287, 314, and 411 of the Criminal Law of the State of Lagos, 2015. The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 287 provides a three-year jail term for convicted criminals.
Chief magistrate Yewande Aje-Afunwa admitted that the defendant should bail out the sum of N2.5 million, with two guarantees in the same amount.
Aje-Afunwa said that the guarantees should be the blood relations of the accused. She said the guarantees must show evidence of tax payments to the Lagos state government. The chief magistrate suspended the case until August 29, by mention.