An Ogudu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on Friday struck out an application for the withdrawal of a N710, 000 fraud charge against a Choir Director of the Christ Embassy Church, Lagos.
The police had on May 15 arraigned the director, Sunday Eboh, who allegedly defrauded another member of the church, David Egaifa, under false pretences of helping him to purchase a Toyota bus.
Chief Magistrate Omolade Awope struck out the application when Egaifa exhibited ignorance of implications of the withdrawal.
The complainant, who had earlier agreed with the accused to withdraw the suit, told court on Friday that he was not properly enlightened on the implications of withdrawing the case.
Mr. Egaife made this known after the prosecutor, Corporal Adekemi Adeniran, told him that he would not be able to bring back the case once withdrawn.
“Madam, it is during this section that I learnt I can’t come back for the same case after withdrawal, but I was told that l can re-arrest Eboh if he refuses to pay my money.
“My Lord, l don’t want withdrawal again. I withdraw my application,” Mr. Egaifa said.
The choir director, who lives at No. 11, Church St., Ketu, Lagos, is facing a two-count charge of false pretence and stealing.
He had pleaded not guilty on arraignment, and was granted bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
The prosecutor said that he committed the offences in February, 2012 at 12:30 p.m., at the Christ Embassy Church, Ketu, Lagos.
“The accused told the complainant that his relatives are living in United Kingdom and that they frequently sent cars home for sale.
“The complainant was not totally convinced, so he asked the accused to deposit his B.Sc certificate and his NYSC discharge certificate, to be returned to him when he brings the bus. After collecting the money, the accused ran away until last week when he turned up to demand for the certificates,” Ms. Adeniran said.
She said that the offences contravened Sections 285 and 312 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Section 285 prescribes three years imprisonment for stealing while Section 312 provides for 15 years imprisonment for obtaining by false pretences.