Architect docked over alleged fraud, forgery

A 52-year-old architect, Akpo Gbefa, was on Wednesday brought before an Ajegunle-Apapa Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly defrauding his client  of N1 million through  forged building documents.

Gbefa, who resides in Ajegunle, Lagos, is facing a five-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretences, forgery, stealing, wilful damage and possession of fraudulent documents.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Benedict Aigbokhan, told the court that the defendant committed the offences at 2.00p.m. on Dec. 10, 2018, at No. 15, Salimolu Bakare St., Ajegunle-Apapa, Lagos.

According to him, the defendant collected N1 million from the complainant, Chief Leo Agbakwuru, on the pretext of drawing up a building plan for his property and getting it approved.

Aigbokhan alleged that Gbefa gave the complainant a forged approved building plan and proceeded to build the property with substandard materials.

He added  that the defendant made a huge error at the foundation stage and damaged the structure and stairs of the building while trying to rectify the error.

He said that the offences contravened Sections 280 (1) (b), 314, 320, 350 and 365 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 314 stipulates 15 years’ imprisonment for obtaining by false pretences, while Section 365 carries three years’ jail term for forgery.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Joy Ugbomoiko, released the defendant on bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties each in like sum.

Ugbomoiko ordered that both sureties must be gainfully employed and show evidence of three years’ tax payment to Lagos State Government.

She adjourned the case until Sept. 4 for trial. 

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