The Organiser Of Nigerian Legal Awards Arraigned Over N20 Million Fraud

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The operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Chief Executive Officer of Legal Blitz Ltd, Mr. Lere Fashola, over N20m theft and issuance of dud cheques before Justice Sherifat Sholebo of Lagos Special Offences Court, Ikeja.

Fashola and Legal Blitz Ltd were arraigned on a three-count charge of stealing and issuance of dud cheques.

First defendant, Fashola, is the publisher of ESQ Legal Practice magazine and convener of the annual Esquire Nigerian Legal Awards, which honours outstanding lawyers across the country.

The Advanced Fee Fraud Section of the EFCC said the lawyer was arrested following a petition by Mr. Adeyemi Adebola alleging that he obtained the N20m under false pretence in a property transaction upon representation that the property was assigned to the firm “by the dependents and administrators of the Estate of Alhaji Ganiyu Balogun”.

The property is located at Plot 732. Block XXVII (27), Omole Residential Scheme, Phase 2, Isheri in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos.

The EFCC counsel, Mrs. Joy Amahian, said Fashola and Legal Blitz Ltd between 5th January, 2018 and 28th February, 2018, in Lagos, “dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N20m, property of Mr. Adeyemi Adebola.”

It said the defendants’ conduct amounted to “stealing, contrary to Sections 278 (1) (f) and 285 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The prosecutor also suspected that the defendants in the same period in Lagos “knowing that you had no sufficient fund in your Diamond Bank Plc account, issued cheque No. 53160448 dated 4th June, 2018 in the sum of N10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira Only) as a refund in favour of Mr Adeyemi Adebola, which upon presentation was returned unpaid for lack of funds.”

Fashola also allegedly issued another dud cheque on 4th July, 2018 which was also returned unpaid for lack of funds. The prosecutor said issuance of dud cheque contravened Section 1(l)(b) and (i) of the Dishonoured Cheques Act of 2004.

Justice Solebo ordered that the award organiser be remanded in a correctional facility.

Pending the hearing and the determination of the bail application, the defendant is ordered to be remanded at the correctional facility,” Justice Solebo said.

The case was adjourned until 10th February, 2020 for hearing of the bail application.

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