Estate agent remanded in prison for alleged N25m fraud

A Lagos State magistrate court sitting in Ebute-Meta has ordered the remand of a 39- year-old estate agent, Ibrahim Hamidi Ayinde, for allegedly defrauding 125 persons on the pretence he would provide them with apartments.

The magistrate, Mrs O. A. Olagbende, at an earlier hearing on the matter, had ordered Ayinde to evict the tenants in the house pending the conclusion of the matter in court, an order the accused failed to obey.

The magistrate consequently ruled yesterday that he should be remanded in Ikoyi prison for a week for failing to carry out the court’s order.

Ayinde is standing trial on a 125-count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing.

The accused, however, denied the charges the Lagos State government preferred against him.

According to the police prosecutor, Mrs Clara Olagbayi, Ayinde committed the offence at Agege, a Lagos suburb, between May and July, 2017.

Olagbayi further informed the court that the accused collected the sum of N25m from the 125 persons for 14-flat apartment in Agege.  But, the prosecutor alleged, the unsuspecting victims met a shock when they started bringing in their belongings after full payment for the apartment to Ayinde but each met other persons there despite the fact that the estate agent had given them individually a complete set of keys.

At the resumption of proceedings yesterday, the defendant, whose lawyer was absent in court, informed the magistrate that he had not carried out the court’s order because he got it late.

Olagbende was not convinced by his excuses and ordered his remand in prison custody for a week.

Pleading for mercy, Ayinde said he had started returning some of the complainants’ monies to them and promised to complete the exercise by May 2019.

The magistrate, however, disagreed with him, insisting he should spend a week at the Ikoyi prison, and adjourned the matter till April 11 for mention.


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