Court arraigns travel agent for allegedly defrauding customers N1.4m
By Damilola Kusimo
A self-acclaimed travel agent, Josephine Madu has been arraigned at Isolo magistrate court for allegedly defrauding two of her customers of 1.4 million having failed to procure genuine visa for them as agreed.
Madu, who was facing 5-count charge bordering on fraud pleaded not guilty to the charges, claiming that one Mr. Dayo, who is now at large, handled the processing for her.
The 40-year old woman was said to have allegedly presented herself as a certified travel agent under false pretense, obtaining the sum of 1.4 million from two prospective travellers – Earnest Chukwu and Chimezie Eric – with the assurance of getting Canadian visas for them.
According to the prosecuting counsel, Inspector Oje Uagbale, the defendant who convincingly presented herself as a travel agent collected the sum N620,000 and N855,000 respectively from the two complainants with a formal agreement of processing and procuring Canadian visa for them.
“The two complainants, Earnest Chukwu and Nwigwe Chimeze Eric are friends to Mr. Obinna Nwoke, it was Obinna that introduced Josephine Madu to them. Obinna, owns a Space bus which he uses to convey passengers everyday on his way home whenever he closes from work. That very day, Josephine boarded his bus and she was among the last two passengers to alight. She introduced herself as a travel agent and sought patronage from Obinna or anyone who he knows who intends to travel abroad.
“Obinna got in touch with two of his friends who intended to travel to Canada and introduced Josephine to them. Having given her N862,000 and N655,000 to process the visa, she failed to deliver the visas as agreed.
‘After several months, she showed up with a visa which the complainants insisted on its verification and it was on the way to the Canadian Embassy that she confessed that, the visa wasn’t genuine and this led to her arrest and arraignment,” he explained.
The defendant who claimed to be a graduate of Ahmadu Bella University, Zaria claimed to have been misled in the procurement by a colleague who handled the processing for her.
The matter which has undergone seven sittings since the first trial Friday November 9, 2018 was subsequently adjourned for further hearing by the presiding magistrate Hon. Olufunmilayo Teluwo.
However, she was released on bail having perfected her bail conditions which includes provisions of N100,000 and one responsible surety in the like sum who must be a relation with verified address and Lagos state tax receipts.