A 35-year-old clearing agent, Dozie Okoli, was on Thursday dragged before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court over an alleged N55.4 million theft. The defendant however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
It could not be determined, which of the professional association Dozie Okoli belonged to.
Okoli, whose address was not given in court, is subsequently standing trial on a three-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining under false pretences and stealing.
The Prosecutor, ASP Peter Nwangwu, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on Oct. 26, 2017 at the Agege area of Lagos, at 2.30 p.m.
Nwangwu said that the defendant obtained the sum of N55.4 million from the complainant, one Alanna Eugene, the Chief Executive Officer of New Gate Asia Pacific Industrial Ltd.
He said that the defendant obtained the money under the pretext of clearing seven containers of goods from Cotonou port in Republic of Benin on his behalf.
“The defendant obtained the money from the complainant that he was in a position to clear and secure the release of his seven containers of goods from Cotonou port within two weeks, but failed to clear the containers.
“Okoli converted the money to his personal use and absconded.
“All efforts made by the complainant to get the defendant to refund the money proved abortive,” Nwangwu said.
According to him, the offences contravene Sections 287, 314 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Section 287 provides a three-year jail term for convicted offenders.
Chief Magistrate Yewande Aje-Afunwa admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N2.5 million, with two sureties in like sum.
Aje-Afunwa said that the sureties must be blood relations of the defendant.
She said that the sureties should show evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
The Chief Magistrate adjourned the case until August 29, for mention.