A travel agent, Ajayi Philip, is standing trial before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court, Lagos State, for allegedly defrauding a plumber seeking a two-year visa to enable him to work in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Philip was accused of collecting a sum of N650,000 from the complainant, Eniola Rasaq without keeping to the agreement. Instead, Philip reportedly procured a three-month visiting visa for the plumber.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that 46-year-old Rasaq reported the case at the Maroko Police Station and Philip was arrested.
It was gathered that the agent was released after he wrote an undertaking at the police station to refund the money.
The suspect, however, reportedly reneged on his pledge after paying N70,000 out of the sum.
Rasaq, who hails from Ogun State, told the police that his sister resident in Germany linked him with Philip.
“I am a plumber and I have my shop in Agege, Lagos. On June 5, 2017, my sister, Bose, who lives in Germany introduced Ajayi to me. He claimed to be a travel agent. My brother, Waheed, and I contacted him to get a two-year working permit in Dubai.
“A sum of N650,000 was paid into his bank account, but to our surprise, he failed to deliver as agreed. He did a three-month visiting visa for me. I asked him to return my money and reported the case to the police.
“He accepted to refund the money. He only paid N70,000 and stopped. It remains N580,000.”
But Philip, 32, an indigene of Lagos, said Rasaq made a deposit of N350,000 which he used to process the visa. He said the plumber later dropped the idea of travelling while he (Rasaq) was trying to raise funds to pay the balance.
He said, “Rasaq and I had an agreement to procure a work permit in Dubai for him. I started the job with the N350,000 he paid and got the visa for him. He said he wanted to look for the balance when the visa was ready. Later, he said he was not travelling again and asked for his money to be refunded.”
A police prosecutor, Francisca Job, consequently brought Philip before the court on three counts bordering on fraud and stealing.
Job told the court that the alleged offences contravened sections 287, 314 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.
The charges read in part, “That you, Ajayi Philip, and one other at large on June 5, 2017, on King George Street, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did fraudulently obtain from one Eniola Rasaq, a total sum of N650,000 with the pretence of getting him two years’ work permit in Dubai, a representation you know to be false, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 314(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty and elected summary trial.
The presiding magistrate, Mr. B. I. Bakare, granted him bail in the sum of N250,000 with two sureties in the like sum and adjourned the case till July 30, 2018.
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