The Lagos State Police Command has arraigned a 38-year-old Nigeria Immigration Service Officer, Emeka Francis, in an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court. Emeka, allegedly impersonated an Interpol officer and defrauded a traveler of N3.99 million
The defendant, whose residential address was not given, is charged with conspiracy, stealing and obtaining money under false pretense.
The Prosecution Counsel, Sgt. Oluwabunmi Adeitan, told the court the defendant allegedly collected the N3.99 million from a traveler, Mr Christopher Menkiti, on February 19 at 12.35 p.m. at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
She said that an NDLEA official accosted the complainant and handed him over to a group of men claiming to be Interpol officers who searched his luggage.
Adeitan alleged that the defendants seized the complainant’s travel documents and refused to give him back, until he gives them money.
She said that the complainant, who was held hostage for four hours called his mother who transferred the N3.99 million to two separate accounts of the defendant. The prosecution named the accounts as: Francis Emeka Eze, Zenith Bank, account no. 2081979756 and Francis Emeka Eze, First Bank, account no.2015859273.
The offence, she said, contravened the provisions of sections 287, 314 and 411 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015, (Revised).
According to the Nigerian Constitution, obtaining money under false pretense stipulates 15-years-jail term, stealing attracts three years while conspiracy provides two years for offenders.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate, T.A. Ojo, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
Ojo ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed and must produce evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
She also ordered that the sureties must be blood relatives of the defendant and also live within the court’s jurisdiction. The Magistrate adjourned the case until June 18 for hearing.