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Apprentices in court over alleged N10m fraud

By Kayode Olabanji
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Three apprentices are currently standing trial at an Akure Magistrates’ Court sitting at Oke-Eda, for allegedly converting  their master’s money N10,430,165.00, being the proceeds from sales, to their own  personal use.

The accused, Ikemefuna Okpe, 21, Ifeanyi Obbeta 21, and Emmanuel Ogbonna 21, were brought before Magistrate, Mrs Victoria Bob-manuel on a three- count charge of conspiracy, stealing and fraudulent act.

The prosecution said Okpe, Obbeya and Ogbonna, committed the offence between  April 1, 2018 and January 20, 2019, during the day time at the complainant’s shop,  Jesus Line, Ọja-Ọba market, Akure, in the Akure Magisterial District.

They were said to have stolen the following items, 100 cartons of Star Maggi, 50 cartons of Chicken flavour Maggi,15 packs of Ginger tomatoes, 12 cartons of Gino curry, 18 cartons of Tiger thyme,150packs of sweet corn, 50 cartons  Titus,110 packs cheetah,50 cartons of Fayrouz, 40 cartons of WAW detergents, 30 cartons of Magic detergents, 16 cartons of Lana tomatoes,6 cartons of Spandish tomatoes, 20 cartons of Majala curry, 22 cartons of bayleaf.

Other items are, 10 cartons of Vitalic tomato paste,  Hot dog and 11 cartons of Matto curry, total value at N10,430,165,  property of one  Celestine Omego.

Also, on the same date, time and place, within the aforementioned district, the stolen items were sold by the accused, who  fraudulently converted the money to their own use.

The police prosecutor, Sergeant Suleiman  Abdulateef, said the offence committed contravened section 383 and punishable under section 516,390(6) and 390 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Volume 1 Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

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The accused persons pleaded not guilty to charges preferred against them.

Abdulateef, prayed the court for a  date to enable him study the case file properly and gather his witnesses before the court.

Lawyer for the defendants, Mrs A.A Adedire, prayed the court to grant her clients bail in most liberal term.

She noted that the accused were business helpers to the complainant, assuring that they were ready to produce  credible and reasonable sureties that will stand for them.

The Magistrate, Mrs Victoria Bob-Manuel, granted bail to each of  the accused in the sum of N200,000  with one surety each in like sum.

She adjourned the case till March 7, 2019 for mention.

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