An Ikeja High Court on Monday remanded Jonathan Okoli, President of Aguiyi Ironsi Market – popularly known as Ladipo Market – in prison over an alleged N52 million fraud.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okoli was remanded in Ikoyi Prison, after his arraignment before Justice Olabisi Akinlade.
Okoli, who resides at No. 2, Akinwunmi St., Ladipo, Lagos was charged to the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The 51-year old auto spare-parts dealer is facing a three-count charge of obtaining money by false pretences and stealing.
EFCC counsel, Mr Anslem Ozioko, said the accused had between 2009 and 2010, obtained a total sum of N52 million from members of Aguiyi Ironsi International Market Traders Union.
Ozioko said the money was entrusted to Okoli for the payment of Trade Permits and Auto Dealer Fees by members of the association.
He added that the accused fraudulently diverted the money to his personal use, instead of making the payments to the Lagos State Government and Mushin Local Government Area.
According to him, Okoli’s offences contravened Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act of 2006.
Ozioko said they also contravened Section 390 (8) (b) and (9) of the Criminal Code of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the offences attract between seven and 20 years imprisonment, if the accused is found guilty.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The judge ordered him to be remanded in prison pending the hearing of his application for bail fixed for May 16