By Moji Eniola
#TrackNigeria: An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Wednesday, ordered that a prophetess, Linda Mabi-Praise, accused of swindling a company to the tune of N1 billion, be remanded in Kirikiri Female Prisons, pending when she perfects her bail conditions.
Justice Sherifat Solebo, gave the order after Mabi-Praise, pleaded not guilty to an eight-count charge of stealing, obtaining money by false pretence and issuing dud cheques.
Solebo, had earlier admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N25 million with two sureties in like sum.
She ordered that the sureties must be resident in Lagos, provide proof of residency and proof of payment of tax.
Mabi-Praise of Temple of Praise Church located at off Adeniran Ogunsanya St., Surulere, Lagos has at least three fraud related cases before Justices Solebo and Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Courts.
According to Mr Frank Ofoma, the prosecutor for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mabi-Praise and her company, Mutano Energy Ltd, committed the offences in 2017 in Lagos.
She is alleged to have received N503.3million in five tranches from the complainant, Tophara Ventures Nigeria Ltd and subsequently issued three did cheques to the company.
“On April 4, 2017, the defendants fraudulently obtained the sum of N80million from Tophara Ventures Nigeria Ltd by falsely representing to the company that the money was for costs of diesel importation.
“On April 24, 2017 the defendants falsely obtained N238.2million fron the complainant by claiming that the funds were for the purpose of diesel trade and supply.
“On April 24, 2017, the defendants dishonestly stole and converted N137.1million from the complainant and sometime in 2017, she also stole N48million from Tophara Ventures Nigeria Ltd,” she said.
The prosecution said the prophetess with an intent to defraud, had on May 3, 2017, issued three dud United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc cheques to Tophara Ventures.
The first cheque dated Oct. 30, 2015 had the number 77148231 while the second cheque was with number 77148216 and was dated May 3, 2017.
Both cheques were for N5 million each.
“On May 3, 2017, she also issued a third cheque for N10 million which had the number 77148217 and was dated May 3, 2017.
“All three cheques were dishonoured on presentation for payment on the grounds were standing in credit in Mabi-Praise’s bank account,” the EFCC prosecutor said.
According to the EFCC, the offence, contravened the provisions of ections 1(1) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act of 2006, Sections 258(1), 9(b) and 278(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.
The offence also contravened the provisions of Section 1(1) of the Dishonoured Cheques and Other Related Offences Act 2004.
Justice Solebo adjourned the case until March 25 for trial. (NAN).