By Kayode Adeoti
Twenty four (24) marketers of a Microfinance Bank; Prime Trade Investment Nigeria Ltd, were on Tuesday arraigned before a magistrate court in Ilorin, Kwara State, over alleged N300million fraud.
The financial institution through its marketers were said to have deceitfully cajoled their customers to deposit money with the company while expecting 25 per cent interest in return.
The names of the docked marketers are; Animashaun Oluwabunmi, Akintola Eunice Taiwo, Senorita Naman, Oyeleke Abiodun, Ogunrongbe Alaba, Olayode Omolade, Balogun Oluwatosin, Akanji Opeyemi, Jimoh Jamiu, Moronkola Damilola, Lawrence Christiana, Jeremiah Abioye, Victorious Ife, Ola-OniVictoria, Ashaolu Abiola, Abdulrahman Rahimat Alayo, Anselem Anita, Yusuf Arafat, Ajala Margaret Chizobam, Oyelede Roseline, Ademola Bolanle, Emmanuel Bolu, Tamilola Victoria, Makinde Folashade Patience while others are still at large.
They were dragged before Magistrate Muhammed Ibrahim for the offence of criminal conspiracy, forgery and obtaining property under false pretences contrary to section 97 and 364 of the penal code and section 1(a) (b) (c) and (3) of advance fee fraud and other fraud related offence act 2006.
The Police First Information Report (FIR) however revealed that the operators of the microfinance bank; Sanni Mohammed, Yusuf Balogun and Chief Adekunle Ogunbanjo Jamiu of non-existing addresses are now at large.
FIR added that the operators of the bank allegedly ran away after perfecting their deeds on 31st August, 2018 with all the money collected from their supposed customers.
It was also stated that the trio have successfully duped over 200 Kwarans of money yet to be ascertained but more than N300million.
“Investigation revealed that the suspects employed several staff and marketers that shared leaflets of the fraudulent company and in the process lured and convinced several people to key in and deposit various sum of money, which is now over N300million,” the FIR divulged.
No fewer than 12 counsels including Animashahun Abidemi, Kabiru Azeez, Abdulrasheed Lawal stood in for the accused persons.
In his submission, the prosecutor, Yusuf Nasir prayed the court for an adjourned date on the basis that investigation is still ongoing on the case.
He added that he will not contest the bail of the suspects except the 5th accused person.
The most senior counsel, Tajudeen Shogo, who addressed the court on behalf of others however prayed for the release of the marketers on liberal terms.
He canvassed that the suspects are innocent and were only used by their bosses who are now at large.
Magistrate Ibrahim in his ruling noted that his court lack jurisdiction to hear the matter, adding that it borders on advanced fee fraud which can only be tried at the high court.
He however granted the marketers bail except the 5th accused person, saying he should be remanded in police custody pending the determination of the matter. He further adjourned the matter to September 20, 2018.