Two women, who claimed to be prophetesses, were on Thursday arraigned before an Apapa Senior Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, for allegedly defrauding a businesswoman of N600, 000.
Ifeoma Ogbonna, 43, and Uchechi Nwosu, 40, allegedly collected the money, promising to use their divine powers to make the businesswoman, Mrs Jane Chukwu, rich and make her business proper.
The duo, who live at the Orile-Iganmu area of Lagos, are facing a three-count charge of stealing, conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretences.
The Prosecutor, Cpl. Friday Inedu, told the court that the accused approached Chukwu, asking her to bring N500,000 and her gold necklace worth N100, 000 to enable them to pray for her to become rich.
“The accused, who lured the businesswoman to a reclusive area at Coker Bridge, Orile-Iganmu, Lagos, promised her that they would pray for her and neutralise all external forces working against her progress.
“The accused said they would use the money to buy some spiritual oils and other ingredients for the prayers, to liberate her from the external forces working against her progress.
“The businesswoman, who could not see any changes as promised by the prophetesses, reported the matter to the police,’’ he said.
Inedu said the offences were committed on June 25, at Coker Bridge area of Orile-Iganmu, Lagos.
According to him, the offences contravene Sections 285, 312 (1), (a) and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 312 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law stipulates 15 years imprisonment for obtaining money under false pretenses.
Both accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Senior Magistrate, Mr Adeyemi Amos, granted the accused bail in the sum of N200, 000 each, with two sureties in like sum.
He said the sureties should show evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
Amos fixed further hearing in the case for Nov. 13.