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BDC Operator Remanded for N157m Theft by Court

Justice Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court in Lagos has sent Bureau de Change (BDC) operator Bamidele Atoyebi, also known as Bam-Bam, back to jail. Atoyebi is accused of conspiracy, stealing N157 million from traders in Alaba, Lagos, and getting money from them by lying.

After the lawyers from the Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) brought Atoyebi before Justice Aluko, he told them to keep him in the care of the Nigerian Correctional Services.

Sunday Ayodele, the police prosecutor, had told the court earlier that the defendant was arrested because of a letter written to the police by Mejulu Henry, the lawyer for the accused victim.

Ayodele also told the court that the defendant and other people who are still at large got a total of N157,206 million from him between December 2022 and January 2023 under the guise of giving him the amount in US dollars (USD).

He said that the defendant got the money from Mrs. Priscilla Oyiowo, who was the trader’s agent, through one Obinna Ozuah.

The cops said that the defendant took the money for his or her own use.

The prosecutor also said that the crimes broke sections 8(a) and 1(1)(c) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offenses Offences A8 Vol. 1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and were punished under section 1(3) of the same Act.

Ayodele also told the court that stealing broke Section 383 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C 38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and was punished under Section 390 (9) of the same Act.

The suspect, on the other hand, said that he was not guilty.

After the plea, the lawyer asked the court to set a trial date and keep the defendant in the Nigerian Correctional Services’ Ikoyi Custodial Center until the trial was over.

But the lawyer for the defense, E. A. Alafin, told the court that he had made a bail application for his client and given a copy to the prosecution.

He asked the court to let his client out on bail under the most lenient conditions, but the prosecutor said he needed time to read the application and make his response, so the application was denied.

Based on what happened, Justice Aluko put off hearing the defendant’s bail plea until October 5, 2023.