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Pastor sentenced to two years over N2.1m visa scam

A 35, year-old pastor, Micheal Njoteah, was on Wednesday sentenced to two years imprisonment at correctional centre for obtaining N2.1 million under false pretences, by a Lagos Magistrate court sitting in Igbosere.

Magistrate Mrs O. O. Adeshina sentenced Njoteah without an option of fine. She ordered that the sentence should take effect from yesterday, March 11. Magistrate Adeshina, found Njoteah guilty on the count of obtaining money under false pretences and discharged him on the other counts. Njoteah was first arraigned on April 18, 2019, on a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and stealing, preferred against him by the Police.

He pleaded not guilty and was granted N450, 000 bail with two sureties in like sum. During trial, the Prosecutor, Sergeant Friday Mameh, called five witnesses, adding that the defendant committed the offences sometime in 2017 and the year 2018 in Lagos. Mameh said that Njoteah fraudulently obtained the sum of N1.3 million from the complainant, one Samuel Ezeoha, in the pretext of procuring Australian visa for him. Mameh, said the defendant did not procure the visa, for the complainant as promised. He said the defendant also obtained the sum of N850, 000 from another person, one Chukwunonso Okeke, under guise of procuring visa for him but failed to do so. Mameh told the court that the defendant also induced other people to visit Lagos State from other states with the intent of defrauding them. He said the total money fraudulently obtained by the defendant was N2.1 million. According to Mameh, the offences committed is punishable under Sections 287, 314 318 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. The defendant, however, told the court that he was not a visa agent but collected the monies from the complainants in other to connect them with a visa agent. Njoteah told the court that he gave all the money to the visa agent.

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