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Police arrest UPDC workers for stealing N22m

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PostParadise on Tue 10 May 2016, 2:44 pm

The police in Lagos have arrested three officials working with the UACN Property Development Company Plc, for allegedly stealing a sum of N22m belonging to the firm.

UPDC is a subsidiary of United Africa Company of Nigeria, which deals in real estate management.

The suspects are identified as one 39-year-old Toyin Marcus, said to be in the company’s finance department; the Human Resources Manager, Victoria Ogundipe, and one Cyril Oaku, whose designation was not disclosed.

It was gathered that they worked at the company’s office on Odunlami Street, Lagos Island.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the UPDC had released the sum to the suspects and others at large to carry out a project, which they reportedly failed to execute.

Instead, they allegedly conspired to forge cash payment documents, indicating that they spent the sum on the project.

Upon the discovery of the alleged fraud reportedly perpetrated in June 2015, the management reported the case to the police at the Area A Command, Lion Building, leading to the arrest of the suspects.

A police source told our correspondent that two other suspects had been earlier arrested in connection with the matter and arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court, adding that the police were on the trail of the fleeing suspects.

The three suspects were brought before the court on Monday on three counts bordering on forgery and stealing. The offences, according to the police, contravene sections 285, 363 (1) and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.

The charges read in part, “That you, Cyril Oaku, Victoria Ogundipe and Toyin Marcus and others at large, on June 1, 2015, at UPDC Plc on Odunlami Street, Lagos Island, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did forge and duplicate several payment and cash advance documents, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 363 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.”

“That you and others at large, on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned magisterial district, did steal the sum of N22m from the account of UPDC without the consent of the company, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.”

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the counts before the presiding magistrate, Mrs. Ambibola Komolafe, and were granted bail in the sum of N500,000 each with two sureties each in like sum.

Komolafe added that the sureties must present to the court evidence of tax payments made to the Lagos State Government and their residential addresses in the state and adjourned the case till June 7, 2016.

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