An 11-member syndicate was brought before an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ijaiye-Ojokoro, on Thursday for allegedly defrauding about 77 persons to the tune of N2.4m under the guise of running a cooperative and thrift society.
The syndicate, consisting of nine women and two men, had their office on Lambe Street, off Agbado Road, Lagos State. They used the name, Adlaw Cooperative Credit and Thrift, to lure victims, most of who were said to be traders, with a promise to give them big loans.
They were said to have collected deposits from the residents of the Agbado area between March 10, and April 2015, using fake documents.
The suspects’ names were given as Abraham Adenike (28), Ganiyat Ganiyu (25), Aminu Feyishara (22), Aminat Adeladan (28), Omolola Adeloye (40), Mariam Badru (50), Edunjobi Mutiu (40), Adeleke Kofofworola (30), Williams Oluwatoyin (46), Olabisi Lasisi (38) and 58-year-old Adewole Adeniyi.
Their ploy, it was said, became known when one of the victims got information that the operators were not what they pretended to be.
The victim was said to have mobilised other depositors and approached the syndicate, demanding their contributions.
The meeting reportedly turned violent when the defendants could not refund the deposits.
Punch reports that it took the intervention of policemen from the Ijaiye-Ojokoro Police Division; the monarch of Ojokoro, Oba Rilwan Oluwalambe; and the Chairman, Community Development Committee of the Ojokoro area, Alhaji Hamzat, to pacify the depositors.
The syndicate members were eventually arrested and arraigned before the magistrate, Mrs. O.A. Olayinka, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.