Kelly Nwogu, an estate developer, was remanded by the Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday for allegedly obtaining N65 million from a church under false pretenses.
Nwogu, alongside his company, Livelihood Homes Limited, and other individuals still at large, were arraigned before Justice Peter Lifu on three counts of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretense, and fraudulent conversion.
News About Nigeria understands that the charges were filed against them by the Police Special Fraud Unit.
The prosecutor, Emmanuel Jackson, informed the court that the defendants and other accomplices committed the offenses sometime during this year.
According to Jackson, Nwogu and his company fraudulently obtained N65 million from a church in the Ojodu area of Lagos State. They did so by falsely claiming to have plots of land for sale in the Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State and along the Agbara-Badagry Expressway in Lagos.
The prosecutor further revealed that after receiving the money from the church, the defendants failed to provide the promised land and also neglected to reimburse the church. These actions are in violation of Sections 8(a), 1(1)(8) 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 pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him. Consequently, the prosecutor requested a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendant in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Centre until the allegations against him are resolved.
However, the defendant’s counsel, Bernard Omang, applied for the court to grant his client bail on the most liberal terms. The court rejected the request due to a lack of proper application in support of the request.
As a result, Justice Lifu ordered that the defendant be remanded at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre. The case was adjourned until June 14 to commence the trial.