A Bureau De Change Operator known as Atoyebi Bamidele, also referred to as Bam-Bam, found himself in the spotlight as he was brought before the Federal High Court in Lagos by the police on charges of fraud amounting to N157 million.
The allegations against Bamidele, as reported by PLATFORM TIMES, revolve around accusations of obtaining N157 million from traders in Alaba Market through deceitful means.
The charges laid out by the Force Criminal Investigation Department include conspiracy, obtaining funds under false pretenses, and theft.
Bamidele’s arrest and subsequent arraignment followed a petition submitted by the traders, with Henry Mejulu representing their interests.
The police prosecuting counsel, S. O. Ayodele, argued that Bamidele, in collaboration with others who are currently at large, committed the alleged offenses between December 2022 and January 2023.
During this period, Bamidele is alleged to have falsely promised to facilitate the exchange of N157,206,000 into United States dollars for the traders.
It is claimed that Bamidele collected this sum from the traders’ representative, Mrs. Priscilla Oyiowo, via Obinna Ozuah, and diverted it for personal use.
These actions are said to be in contravention of Sections 8(a) and 1(1)(c) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, as well as Section 1(3), 383 of the Criminal Code Act, and Section 390(9) of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Despite the grave charges, Bamidele pleaded not guilty during the proceedings.
In response, the prosecutor requested that the court remand the accused in the Nigerian Correctional Service Centre until the case reaches a verdict.
Bamidele’s lawyer, E. A. Alafin, submitted a bail application and urged the court to grant his client bail with lenient conditions.
The prosecutor opposed this application, citing the need to review it before providing a response.
Justice Akintayo Aluko, presiding over the case, scheduled a hearing for the defendant’s bail application on October 5, 2023.
In the interim, the judge ordered that Bamidele be held in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service until the adjourned date.
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