by Robert Egbe
An Indian national, Lokesh Parwani, who allegedly attempted suicide after he was arrested for an alleged N116 million fraud, Thursday appeared at an Igbosere Chief Magistrate’s Court, Lagos.
The Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (Force CIID), Annex, Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos arraigned Parwani, the Personnel Manager of an Indian-owned firm in Lagos, on a three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and attempted suicide.
Police counsel Morufu Animashaun alleged that Parwani and his accomplices, who are on the run, conspired and defrauded his employer of the said sum on July 19, 2019 at Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Animashaun said the defendant’s employer reported the fraud to the police which, after investigation, confronted Parwani with the allegations on July 26.
The police arrested Parwani, but he allegedly attempted to take his life by quickly eating ‘Super Kill Action Ready Bait Cake’, a rat poison.
According to the prosecutor, the offences contravened sections 411, 280(1) and 235 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 and were punishable under sections 287 and 407 of the same law.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge, which was read to him in English.
Following his plea, Animashaun, prayed the court to remand Parwani in prison custody pending trial.
But the defendant’s lawyers, Gani Oyerevuegbe and Mustapha Danisi, opposed him.
They said Parwani had no criminal record and applied for his bail “on the most liberal terms.”
They would ensure his appearance in court for trial, they added.
In a bench ruling, Chief Magistrate K. K. Awoyinka granted the defendant N1 million bail with two sureties in the like sum, one of whom must be a civil servant not below Grade Level 10 in the Lagos Civil Service.
Both sureties must be residents of Lagos State, must provide evidence of three years tax payment, “payable to the state government.
“Each surety must furnish the court with account statements with a standing balance of N1.5 million and two recent passport photographs. The defendant should deposit his international passport with the Court’s Chief Registrar,” Mrs Awoyinka said.
She also ordered the prosecution to verify compliance with the bail terms.
Awoyinka remanded Parwani in prison custody pending fulfilment of the bail terms and adjourned till September 2, for trial.
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