Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Herbalist in Court for Defrauding Sick Banker

Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate Court 
A 43-year-old herbalist, Adeyemi Sakiru, has been arraigned before the Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate’s court, for allegedly defrauding a banker, Ayokunle Adebayo, of N2m. Sakiru, who allegedly claimed to be a licensed traditionalist in Lagos State, was also said to have threatened to kill Adebayo’s aunt after the latter demanded the refund of the money.

It was learnt that Adebayo had been down with an unknown ailment that saw him suspended from work several times. He was said to have gone from different religious houses to healing homes in search of solution without result, until he visited Sakiru’s herbal house at Somolu area of the state. Sakiru was said to have demanded N10, 000 to prepare a special concoction for the banker’s ailment.

Our correspondent gathered that after taking the herbal preparation, Adebayo regained his health temporarily. From that period, Adebayo was said to have been paying the defendant N10,000 per month for the preparation of the concoction. However, it was learnt that the herbalist made a demand of N2m to buy more herbal ingredients for a final solution to the ailment. Trouble started when the ailment persisted, and the banker was reportedly sacked from his bank job.

The defendant was said to have been approached for a refund of the money he collected, but he refused to pay. The police said Sakiru sent a text message to the aunt of the complainant, Mrs Oladunni Afolabi, saying that he would kill her if she did not let go of the matter. He was then arrested and arraigned on eight counts of fraud, stealing, obtaining under false pretences and threat to life.

The charges read in part, “That you, Adeyemi Sakiru, and two others now at large, on January 17, 2014 at about 10am, at Somolu area of Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: obtaining money by false pretences and stealing.“That you did falsely present yourself to Ayokunle Adebayo, as a licensed Lagos State herbalist and tradomedicalist when you collected the sum of N2m cash from him, with the pretext to buy herbal ingredients to cure his ill-health which you never did, a representation you knew to be false. “That you did threaten to kill one Mrs. Oladunni Afolabi, an aunt to Ayokunle Adebayo, for protesting against defrauding her nephew.” The police prosecutor, DSP Etim Nkankuk, said the offences were punishable under sections 409, 312, 285, 56, 378 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges and elected summary trial. His defence counsel asked for his bail in liberal terms, which was not opposed by Nkankuk. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. A.A. Demi-Ajayi, admitted him to bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum. The matter was adjourned till May 12, 2014.

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