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EFCC arrests, arraigns lawyer over N20m theft



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it has arrested a lawyer Taofik Oladipo Elias for allegedly stealing N20.4 million from a client.

EFCC on Thursday, August 23 arraigned Ellias before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the State High Court sitting in Lagos on a two-count charge.

The complainant, Gunther Uche Maduike, said he approached Ellias to sell a property in the Obalende area of Lagos for him.

The defendant, however, allegedly failed to remit the proceeds from the sale of the property to the family of the complainant.

One of the counts said, “Taofik Oladipo Elias, on or about 13th February 2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with dishonest intent, converted to your own use the sum of N10,000,000.00k (Ten Million Naira) property of Gunther Uche Maduike.”

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Ismaili Suleiman, asked for a trial date and also prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison custody pending the determination of the case.

Counsel to the defendant, Omolola Satar, informed the court that he had filed a motion for bail since July 22, 2019, and had served same on the prosecution.

Satar, therefore, urged the court to admit his client to bail.

In his response, the prosecution counsel, Suleiman, told the court that “the issue of bail is solely at the discretion of the court.”

He, however, urged the court to impose stringent conditions that would ensure the attendance of the defendant in court for trial.

Justice Oshodi, after listening to both parties, granted the defendant bail on self-recognition.

The Judge ordered the defendant to deposit his international passport and Call-to-Bar certificate with the court’s Registrar.

The defendant was also ordered to enter into a N5 million bond with the court’s Registrar and perfect the bail conditions within 14 days, so it would not be revoked.

Justice Oshodi adjourned the case to October 17, 2019, for the commencement of trial.

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