Court remands businesswoman for defrauding Pastor, others of N18bn

Pastor Anthony Rapu

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday remanded a businesswoman, Olaremi Dilureni at the Kirikiri prisons for allegedly defrauding a Lagos pastor, Dr Anthony Rapu and three others of N23m and N18bn ($50m) in a business deal.

Rapu, who is also a medical doctor, is the Senior pastor at the House of Freedom Church.

According to News Agency of Nigeria reports, Dilureni, who traded under the name, Creadon Ventures, faces eight counts bordering on conspiracy, stealing and obtaining money under false pretences.

The charges was slammed on her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Dilureni denied the charges.

The lead prosecutor for the commission, Mrs Fadeke Giwa, said the accused committed the offences of conspiracy alongside four others, now at large, between March and May 2013.

He gave names of accomplices as Lola Antonio, Tunde Oladunmaye and a company – Home Concepts.

Giwa said, “On April 16, 2013, Dilureni obtained N10m from Rapu under claims that the money was for an investment in a diesel supply business with a monthly interest of 6.5%.

“On April 17, 2013, the defendant received another N10m from Rapu for the business deal.”

The Prosecutor also said, Dilureni duped two members of a popular Lagos family.

“On March 2013, Dilureni fraudulently obtained the sum of $50m belonging to Mrs Eyitope St. Matthew Daniel and converted the money to her use.

“On May 8, 2013, the defendant defrauded Mrs. Nellie St. Matthew Daniel of her N320,000 on the pretext that the money was for the diesel supply business,” Giwa added.

She said the businesswoman also dishonestly received N3m from one Mr. Adeojo Babasegun for the same business deal.

However, the defendant violated section 1(1), (3) of the advance Free Fraud and other offences Act 2006, sections 5(2), 278, 285(1) and 409 of the Lagos State 2012 criminal law.

After Dilureni’s plea was taken, Giwa told the court that she had just received summons for bail from the defendant lawyer and as a result needed time to respond in writing.

Dilureni’s lawyer, Mr. Tunde Kolawole, in his submission, asked the court not to remand his client in prison, but rather in the custody of the EFCC.

“She is a nursing mother and she has been in the EFCC’s custody since Thursday, but she was brought to court today,” he said.

Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Lagos Court, declined Dilureni’s defence Council request, saying she was no longer the responsibility of the EFCC because her plea had been taken.

The judge, also adjourned the case until March 14 for hearing of the bail application.


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