Lanre Smith, a businessman based in Lagos, has been detained in prison on charges of an alleged fraud amounting to $26,000

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On Tuesday, a Federal High Court in Lagos directed the remand of businessman Lanre Smith in the Nigerian Correctional Centre following his arraignment on charges of alleged conspiracy and advance fee fraud, involving sums of US$26,000 and N10,140,000.

Mr. Smith, presented with a three-count charge by the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) in Ikoyi, appeared before Justice Ibrahim Kala. Prosecution lawyer Mike Enejere, defense attorney Akin Apara, and A.A. Ebiason, representing the nominal complainant, were all present during the arraignment.

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The charges alleged that in August 2016, Smith conspired with others to commit advance fee fraud. He was accused of conducting a financial transaction that involved proceeds of unlawful activity by deceiving Lindy Drake into depositing US$26,000 into a United States Well Fargo Account (No 1788790317) under the account name Wilok Limited, operated by Okwudili Okeke, with the intent to promote a specified unlawful activity.

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Furthermore, Smith was accused of fraudulently obtaining N10,140,000 from Okwudili Okeke under the false pretense that he had deposited a genuine sum of US$26,000 into the same Well Fargo Account. Smith pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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After considering arguments from the counsels, Justice Kala ruled that the defendant must file a written bail application. The court adjourned the matter until Monday, February 5, and ordered the remand of the defendant in prison custody.

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