An Ikeja Special Offences Court has remanded a Prophetess, Linda Mabi-Praise in Kirikiri Female Prisons for allegedly defrauding a company, Tophara Ventures Nigeria Limited of N503.3 million.
Mabi-Praise, according to Justice Sherifat Solebo, will stay in prison pending perfection of bail conditions granted her by the court.
She is facing an eight-count charge of stealing, obtaining money by false pretense and issuing dud cheques before the court.
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecutor, Frank Ofoma told the court that Mabi-Praise of Temple of Praise Church, located off Adeniran Ogunsanya Street, Surulere, Lagos and her company, Mutano Energy Limited, committed the offences in 2017 in Lagos.
Ofoma alleged Mabi-Praise received N503.3million in five tranches from the complainant, Tophara Ventures and subsequently issued three dud cheques to the company.
He alleged the defendants also on April 4, 2017, fraudulently obtained N80million from Tophara Ventures 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 from 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 further alleged 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.
He said the first cheque was dated October 30, 2015 and had the number 77148231 while the second cheque with number 77148216 and was dated May 3, 2017 for the sum of N5million each.
He said: “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 the three cheques, he said, were dishonoured on presentation for payment on the grounds that there was no money standing credit in Mabi-Praise’s bank account.
Mabi-Praise however pleaded not guilty to the eight count charge filed against her by the EFCC.
Solebo granted 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 to Lagos State government.
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Justice Solebo adjourned the case until March 25 for trial.