Lagos company convicted of fraud, owner freed

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The Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos, has convicted a company, Tropical Merchant Limited, of forgery and obtaining under false pretences.

However, the owner of the firm, Ayinde Bakare, was discharged and acquitted.

The prosecuting counsel, Bilikisu Buhari, called a witness to testify in court.

The witness, Usman Hammed, an official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said the agency received a petition from the Nigerian Export and Import Bank against the company.

He said, “In the petition, NEXIM alleged that Tropical Merchant Limited diverted its property through false pretences and forgery.

“It alleged that sometime in 2019, the Tropical Merchant Limited applied for a short term credit loan facility for the sum of N30m, which was approved and disbursed into the second defendant’s Ecobank account.

“The facility was for one year tenure. But after the expiration, the defendants failed to return the said facility.”

The defendants were charged with 11 counts bordering on conspiracy to steal, stealing, obtaining under false pretences and use of false documents.

The first defendant was discharged and acquitted, while the second defendant was convicted of the charges.

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