A Canadian, Jim Mansfield, has been arraigned at a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court for allegedly duping one Hajiya Binta Muktar of N15 million.
The prosecutor, Tope Falode, told the court that Muktar reported the matter to Interpol in May, 2012.
Falode said that in May 2012, Muktar leased her house located at No 3, Udi-Hill Close, Aso Drive, to Mansfield with an agreement that he should pay N15 million into her account.
However, he said, Mansfield fraudulently possessed the said house and refused to credit Muktar’s account.
The prosecutor added that the accused, in July 2012, presented forged documents from Wells Faruo Bank to Muktar, claiming to have deposited the said sum into her account, an offence which contravened sections 312, 321 and 368 of the Penal Code.
Section 312 of the code states that whoever commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or fine or both.
Section 368 states that whoever has in his possession any forged document shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 14 years and shall also be liable to fine.
However, Mansfield pleaded not guilty to the charges as his counsel, Mr David Ashaolu, prayed the court to grant bail to his client.
Ashaolu said his client would not jump bail and would not jeopardise investigation in the case.
But the prosecutor objected the bail of the accused, and said, “the accused is not a Nigerian and he is likely to jump bail”.
The prosecutor also alleged that the accused had two different passports bearing two different names.
“The accused has a Canadian passport bearing the name Jim Mansfiled and a UK passport with the name James Michael Mansfiled.’’
Mansfield’s counsel, however, urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms.
The Senior Magistrate, Mr Tony Ubani, granted the accused bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties in like sum.
He said one of the sureties must be a civil servant of not less than Grade Level 13 and must be living within the court’s jurisdiction.
He said the civil servant must deposit the original copies of his employment and last promotion letter and bank statement of account for the last three months in the court.
The second surety should be reasonable and swear to an affidavit of having not less than N2 million in his account.
Ubani then adjourned the matter to May 20 for hearing.