Atoyebi Bamidele, commonly known as Bam-Bam, a Bureau De Change operator, was arrested by the police on Tuesday and brought before the Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly receiving N157 million from traders at Alaba Market under false pretenses.
The police have three accusations of conspiracy, acquiring, and stealing against Bamidele, who conducts business as Prosocial International Limited.
Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos, filed a complaint against him with the court.
Following a petition to the police that was sent by the traders through their attorney, Henry Mejulu, the defendant was taken into custody and charged.
Police prosecutor S. O. Ayodele stated in court after the defendant’s arraignment that the defendant conspired to conduct the crime with other people who are still at large.
Between December 2022 and January 2023, he claimed, Bamidele committed the conduct, obtaining a total of N157,206,000 through fraud while pretending to assist the traders in obtaining the equivalent in US dollars.
According to Ayodele, who testified in court, the defendant acquired the funds from Mrs. Priscilla Oyiowo, the trader’s agent, via Obinna Ozuah.
The defendant reportedly stole the money from his pocketbook and utilized it for his own benefit, according to the prosecutor.
The prosecution contends that the offense violated Sections 8(a) and 1(1)(c) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, CAP A8 Vol. 1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, and was punishable under Section 1(3),383 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap. C 38, and Section 390(9) of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
At the same time, the accused entered a not-guilty plea to the accusations.
In light of the defendant’s not guilty plea, the prosecutor sought the court to confine him at the Nigerian Correctional Service Center pending the outcome of the accusations.
To the contrary, E. A. Alafin, the defendant’s attorney, informed the court that he had submitted his client’s bail application and had served the prosecution with it.
In the strongest possible words, he pleaded with the judge to grant his client’s request for bail.
The prosecutor, however, objected to the application, claiming that he wanted to read it first before responding and that he needed time to do so.
So that the defendant’s bail motion could be heard, Justice Akintayo Aluko postponed the case to October 5, 2023.
In addition, the defendant had to be kept in the Nigerian Correctional Service’s custody until the next date for the hearing, the judge said.