Businesswoman Bolts With Market Association's Money
Precious Ofili (45) has been accused of embezzling the sum of 20 million Naira saved with her as the treasurer of her market association.
Ofili, who resides in Apapa, pleaded not guilty to a three-count charge of conspiracy, stealing and obtaining money under false pretences brought against her at an Apapa Magistrates' Court on Thursday.
Police Prosecutor Tony Elibeh told the court that the accused committed the offences on March 6 at Article Market opposite Trade Fair Complex, Lagos.
Elibeh alleged that the accused, as treasurer of the association, conspired with others now at large and obtained 20 million Naira from members on the pretext of lodging the money in the bank.
He claimed that Ofili, who had no intention of keeping the money in the bank, invested it in her business and when the association later demanded for its money, she gave flimsy excuses.
When the association members got tired of Ofili’s excuses, they reported the case to the police and she was arrested, he said.
The offences contravened Sections 285, 312 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).
Section 285 prescribes three years’ imprisonment for stealing, while Section 312 stipulates a 15-year jail term for obtaining by false pretences.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr Titus Abolarinwa, granted the accused bail in the sum of 5 million Naira with two sureties in like sum.
Abolarinwa also directed that the sureties must be gainfully employed and should show evidence of two years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
He adjourned the case until April 26 for mention.