Lagos State government yesterday arraigned a travel agent, Sharafadeen Irorun before the state high court sitting in Ikeja for allegedly defrauding intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia of the sum of N25 million.
The state docked Irorun before Justice Oyindamola Ogala on a 12-count charge of stealing and obtaining money under false pretences.
The prosecutor, Olawale Ijabike told the court that the defendant and others now at large fraudulently obtained the sum from the intending pilgrims with an assurance to facilitate their travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the 2014 Haji.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
A mild drama, however, occurred, after the defendant’s plea was taken, when one of the complainants, Lukman Abdulkareem protested the non-inclusion of his name in the charge as one of the victims of the crime.
Abdulkareem told Justice Ogala during the proceedings that his name was removed from the list of complainants.
“My lord, I am one of the main complainants in this matter but I do not know why my name is not mentioned in the charge sheet,” Abdulkareem said.
The prosecutor admitted his error and promised to amend the charge to include the complainant’s name.
Justice Ogala then fixed July 7 for the hearing of the bail application and also ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services pending the hearing and determination of his bail application.