For allegedly defrauding a China national, Feng Zhu, of N10m on the pretext of supplying him with donkey skin, Ifeanyichukwu Philips, who claimed to be a dealer in animal skin, has been arraigned by the police before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, South west Nigeria.
Philips, who was arrested by the officers of the General Investigation Department of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos, was arraigned on Friday on three counts of obtaining under false pretenses, fraudulent conversion and stealing.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the police prosecutor, Morufu Animashaun, Philips committed the offences on March 8, 2017, at 272A Cooperation Estate, Festac Town, Lagos. Animashaun told the court that the offences were contrary to and punishable under sections 314 (3) and 285 (5) (a) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.
Following his not guilty plea, Philips’ lawyer, C. O. Idowu, orally applied to the court to admit him to bail in the most liberal terms, adding that he was a first-time offender and that what happened between him and the complainant was purely a business transaction.
The presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs Afolashade Bokoku, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N1m with two sureties in like sum.
The magistrate also ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed, reside within the court’s jurisdiction and must have evidence of three years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government and provide utility bills.
The magistrate, while adjourning the matter till February 21, 2019, for trial, ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending when he would be able to perfect his bail conditions.