A university lecturer, Aliu Musa, who allegedly defrauded a businessman of N1.3 million, was on Monday brought before a Jos Magistrates’ Court.
Mr. Musa, who works in the Department of Economics, Plateau State University, was charged with presenting himself as a property owner and defrauded a businessman, Usman Awatai, of money meant for rent payment.
S. B. Hama, counsel to the complainant, told the court that the accused presented himself to Mr. Awatai as a businessman and owner of a shop situated at 46 Ahmadu Bello Way.
“The lecturer convinced Awatai that he is the owner of the shop and asked that payment be made to him directly,” Mr. Hama said.
He said that the complainant made first payment of N800,000 directly to the accused, as he requested, for the shop.
Mr. Hama said that the amount covered two years (2014 and 2015), adding that the accused later collected another N500,000 as rent for 2016.
He said that in October 2016, the real owner of the shop, Emmanuel Gowon, appeared and threatened to eject the complainant from the shop if he failed to pay his rent immediately.
Mr. Hama said that Gowon denied knowing Mr. Musa, who collected the initial payments, adding that several attempts were made to look for the accused, but could not pick his calls.
The accused denied the charges.
H.A Dashe, the counsel to the accused, pleaded for bail.
Magistrate Yahaya Mohammed admitted him to bail on own recognisance.
The case was adjourned until July 27 for mention.