By Olaitan Idris
A 45-year-old former staff of Punch Nig. Ltd., Ogunbanjo Mikhail, who allegedly defrauded two men to the tune of N950 million, was on Thursday arraigned in Lagos.
The defendant, who was the Head of Copy Sales at Punch, appeared before a Sabo-Yaba Chief Magistrates Court on a three-count charge.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the counts of obtaining by false pretences, forgery and stealing.
The prosecutor, ASP Rita Momah, told the court that the defendant committed the offences from January 2017 to December 2022 at Ikorodu, Lagos State.
Momah submitted that the defendant obtained N450 million from one Mr Olusola lkuyajesin and N500 million from one Mr Durodola Balogun under false pretences of using the money to buy stationeries.
She added that the defendant forged the organisation’s Local Purchase Orders (LPOs) to carry out the acts, in contravention of Sections 287, 314 and 365 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Adeola Olatubosun, granted him bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.
Olatubosun ordered that the defendant must deposit his international passport with the court.
She also directed that one of the sureties must have a landed property within the court’s jurisdiction.
She adjourned the case until April 5 for substantive hearing.