A 70-year-old man, Dennis Okachi, has been arrested by the police for allegedly defrauding a trader, David Osita, in Katangowa Market, Lagos State.

The septuagenarian also allegedly stole the trader’s goods, which the victim reportedly gave him for safekeeping.

PUNCH Metro gathered that Osita paid N50,000 to Okachi, a market leader, as shop rent in July.

The rent was to run from August to December 2018, at the rate of N10,000 per month.

Osita had also kept two packs of clothes, valued at N250,000 in Okachi’s shop while he awaited the shop space.

Okachi reportedly failed to provide the shop and did not return the clothes in his custody.

Osita said the Imo State indigene had promised to help him when he was searching for a shop in the market.

He said, “I know Okachi in the market where he sells alcoholic concoction. In July, when I was trying to get a space, he said he was going to help me and he collected N50,000 for shop rent. But to my surprise, he rented the shop out to another person and refused to pay back my money.

“Also, I usually keep my goods in his place and I pay N200 daily per pack of clothes. On July 12, 2018, I kept two packs of clothes valued at N250,000. When I wanted to take them, he told me that he could not find my goods, but I saw the empty sacks with my name on them.

“He had earlier signed an undertaking to pay back my money, but he defaulted. All the efforts I made to collect my goods back have proved abortive.”

Okachi was arraigned before an Ogba Magistrates’ Court on two counts of conduct likely to cause breach of the peace and stealing.

The police prosecutor, Inspector Abiola Adewale, told the court that the offences contravened sections 168 and 280 (b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The charges read, “That you, Dennis Okachi, on July 2, 2018, around 5pm at Katangora Market, Lagos, in the Ikeja Magisterial District of Lagos State did conduct yourself in a manner likely to cause the breach of the peace by collecting the sum of N50,000 for shop rent from one Osita David.

“That you, Dennis Okachi, on August 3, 2018, around 5pm at Katangora Market, Lagos, in the Ikeja Magisterial District of Lagos State, did steal two packs of used clothes, valued N250,000, the property of one Osita David.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The presiding magistrate, W. A. Salami, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in like sum.

According to Salami, one of the sureties must be a blood relation and must be gainfully employed with an evidence of two years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

The case was adjourned till September 5, 2018.

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