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Estate Agent bags 15-year Jail Term for Defrauding 100 Accommodation Seekers

Ruth Bamidele, Lagos

A 42-year-old estate agent, Michael Kayode Olabameji, was on Monday sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, by a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, for defrauding 100 accommodation seekers of N29.8 million.

6446-000031 The presiding judge, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo found Olabameji guilty of the 99-count charge of obtaining money by false pretences preferred against him.

Onigbanjo sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment on each count which is to run concurrently beginning from Feb.1,2010, when he was remanded in prison.

Olabameji was charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for defrauding the prospective tenants between January and July 2008.

The EFCC prosecutor, Mrs Olubunmi Bosede, said the convict had collected various sums of money from the victims as tenancy and agreement fees for the 16-apartment building located at No. 2, Amuda St., Kirikiri, Lagos

In his judgment, Onigbanjo said the convict had inflicted untold hardship on the victims and callously deprived them of their hard-earned money.

“It is immaterial that he had the mind to refund the money to the victims as he had claimed in his confessional statement to the EFCC.

“The convict will be sentenced adequately to deter others,” he added.

The property which was used by the convict to perpetuate the fraud was actually owned by another person who had leased it to him from 2010 to 2025.

Onigbanjo said it should be managed by the EFCC till the expiration of the lease while the proceeds from the rent are to be paid to the victims as restitution.

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