A mechanic, Chukwudi Okoli, has been arrested by the police in Lagos for allegedly parading himself as a visa agent and defrauding one Chibike Asochukwu of N900, 000.
Asochukwu, a businessman, had engaged Okoli sometime in 2018 to help him process a South Korean visa.
After agreeing on a fee of N1.3m, it was learnt that Asochukwu paid him N300, 000 to commence work.
The complainant reportedly paid additional N450, 000 in instalment and afterwards he could not reach Okoli on his mobile.
In April 2019, City Round gathered that he was able to get across to the suspect, who said he procured a Turkey visa instead and needed N150, 000 to perfect the processing.
Asochukwu was said to have paid the money yet did not get the visa, prompting him to report the case to the police.
He told the police that the deal was initiated at an auto spare parts shop in the Mushin area of the state where he and the suspect hooked up with each other.
He said, “I asked him how much it would cost to facilitate a South Korean visa and he said N1.3m. He initially collected N300, 000 from me in 2018. Later Mr Okoli collected N450, 000 which I paid in about four instalments. He later disappeared and his mobile line stopped going through.
“Around April this year, I got him on the phone and he told me he was able to get a Turkish visa. I agreed and paid N150, 000 he demanded towards the collection of the visa. He started telling me again that the visa will be out contrary to his claim that it was ready. Subsequently, I called him, but he didn’t answer my calls. I started suspecting that he is not a visa agent and that he defrauded me.”
Our correspondent learnt that Okoli was arrested on August 16, 2019, based on the complainant’s report.
He, however, said he collected N650, 000 from Asochukwu, claiming that the visa was stolen in his hotel room in Cotonou, Benin Republic, where he reportedly obtained the visa.
“I started processing another visa. His brother and I were charged N800, 000. We then travelled to Abuja. The visa is still under process. I am a mechanic,” he added.
The police consequently charged Okoli with fraud and he was arraigned on two counts before a magistrate, Mrs M.O. Tanimola.
The police prosecutor, Inspector Koti Aondohemba, told Ogba Magistrates’ Court that the offence was punishable under sections 287 and 314 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The charge read in part, “That you, Chukwudi Okoli, 39, sometime in March 2018, on Alhaji Amusa Street, Mushin, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did obtain the sum of N900,000 from one Chibike Asochukwu, with the pretence to procure him a South Korean visa, a representation you know to be false.”
But the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was granted bail by the magistrate in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in the like sum.