The Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos State, has arrested a 31-year-old man, Agbata Ebuka, for allegedly selling the house of his late elder brother to two persons.
The property, a bungalow, is located in the Ishasi area of the state and was reportedly sold by the suspect to one Ifeanyi Okeke and Ifeanyi Okonkwo without the consent of other family members.
It was gathered that Ebuka sold the building to Okonkwo on March 18, 2017, at the sum of N4.5m, including N500,000 agreement fee.
It was also learnt that Okonkwo had earlier paid N4m for the property, remaining the agreement fee, but Ebuka went ahead to sell the same house to Okeke.
The complainants, upon realising that they had been defrauded, reported the matter at the Kesta Police Station and Ebuka was apprehended
A police officer said that Ebuka was granted administrative bail after he wrote an undertaking to refund the money, adding that he was not committed to the undertaking and jumped bail.
The officer said, “The house in question belongs to the suspect’s elder brother who died abroad. He (Ebuka) and other members of the family were in charge of the property. Without their knowledge, he sold the house to Okonkwo for N4.5m plus the agreement fee.
“The man had paid him N4m for the property. While he was trying to raise the N500,000 agreement fee, the suspect sold the house to the second victim, Okeke. He had failed to keep his promise of repaying the money he collected from them.”
It was gathered that the complainants later petitioned the Zone 2 Police Command on the alleged fraud and Ebuka was rearrested.
He was consequently brought before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court by a police prosecutor, Sergeant Chinedu Njoku.
When the charge sheet, which contained two counts bordering on fraud, was read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty to the offence.
The charges read in part, “That you, Agbata Ebuka, on March 18, 2017, around 10am, at Ishasi, Ojo area, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did unlawfully obtain the sum of N4m from one Ifeanyin Okeke under the pretex of selling a bungalow situated at Ishasi area of Lagos, knowing that you have previously sold the same building to one Ifeanyi Okonkwo, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 314 (1) (b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
“That you, Agbata Ebuka, on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned magisterial distirct, did defraud one Ifeanyi Okeke to the tune of N4m by selling a bungalow situated at Ishasi area of Lagos, knowing full well that you have previously sold the same building to one Ifeanyi Okonkwo, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 324 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”
The defence counsel urged the court to admit Ebuka to bail in liberal terms.
The presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs. A.F.O. Batoku, granted him bail in the sum of N500,000 with two responsible sureties in like sum.
She added that the sureties must present evidence of tax payments and their addresses verified by the prosecutor.
The case was adjourned the case till January 17, 2018.