Justice Sherifat Solebo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court yesterday remanded a nursing mother, Mrs. Olawunmi Dilureni, in prison custody for allegedly defrauding a popular Lagos pastor, Tony Rapu, and two others of N23 million.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Dilureni on an eight-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and stealing.
The anti-graft agency alleged that Diluremi presented a diesel supply business with a monthly return of 6.5 per cent to the victims of the ‘fraud’ but the money was eventually converted to her personal use.
Charged alongside Diluremi are four others – Lola Aremu Anjorin, Tunde Jamiu, Oluremi Osobu and Home Concepts Limited – who are all at large.
The defendants were accused of conspiring to defraud Rapu, Nellie St. Matthew-Daniel and Eyitope St. Matthew-Daniel of the said sum, claiming that it was for diesel supply, but converted the money for their personal use.
According to the charge, “Olawumi Dilureni on April 16, 2013 in Lagos obtained N10 million from one Dr. Anthony Rapu under the pretence that the money is for investment in diesel supply business with a monthly interest rate of 6.5 per cent which pretext you knew to be false.
“Olawunmi Dilureni on 17th April, 2013 dishonestly converted for your own use N10 million only, property of Tony Rapu.”
Dilureni, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecution counsel, Mrs. Fadeke Giwa, prayed the court for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendant in the prison custody.
Giwa said that the offence committed contravened Section 1(1) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2016.
Counsel to the defendant, Tunde Kolawole, responded by informing the court that a bail application had been filed on his client’s behalf.
He said: “My Lord, we just filed the bail application. The defendant has been in prison custody since last Thursday and she is also a nursing mother.”
Giwa, however, told the court that she was served the application the day before and had not responded to it. She asked for a short date to enable her to reply in writing.
Solebo adjourned the matter till March 13 for hearing of bail and application while she ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing.