Estate developer in court for duping church of N65m

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An estate developer, Kelly Nwogu, was on Friday remanded by the Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly obtaining N65m from a church under false pretence.

The defendant is facing three counts of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and fraudulent conversion, preferred against him by the Police Special Fraud Unit.

Nwogu was arraigned alongside his company, Livelihood Homes Limited, and others still at large before Justice Peter Lifu.

The prosecutor, Emmanuel Jackson, told the court that the defendants and others now at large, committed the offences sometime this year.

Jackson told the court that the estate developer, his company, and others now at large, fraudulently obtained N65m from a church in the Ojodu area of Lagos State, with a false pretence of having plots of land for sale at the Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, and Agbara, Badagry Expressway in Lagos.

He said after receiving the money from the church, the defendant failed to give out the land as promised and also failed to reimburse the church.

 According to him, the offences contravened Sections 8(a), 1(1)(8) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2006 and Section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as Amended in 2012.

Nwogu, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Following his not-guilty plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date and also urged the court to remand the defendant in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Centre pending the conclusion and determination of the allegations against him.

But counsel for the defendant, Bernard Omang, applied to the court to admit his client to bail in the most liberal terms.

His request was rejected by the court on the ground that there was no proper application to support his request.

Consequently, Justice Lifu ordered that the defendant be remanded at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre and adjourned the case till June 14 for the commencement of trial.