An Indian hemp seller at Tejuosho Market, Yaba, Lagos State, implicated himself after inviting a policeman to arrest two customers, who had attempted to buy from him with fake currency.
The customers; Sunday Uche, 24; and Patrick Chidiebere, 25, allegedly attempted to cheat the marijuana seller by presenting N21,500, which turned out to be fake.
The unnamed seller subsequently invited a policeman on patrol duty to the scene, after which all of them were arrested on December 3.
Uche and Chidiebere appeared before a Yaba Magistrates’ Court on Friday, for allegedly possessing counterfeit Naira notes totaling N21,500, with which they had attempted to buy Indian hemp.
The defendants face two counts of conspiracy and possession of forged banknotes.
They, however, pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
The Prosecutor, Sgt. Godwin Oriabure, told the court that the defendants committed the offences on December 3.
According to him, the defendants tried to use 16 pieces of fake N1,000 notes and 11 pieces of fake N500 notes, totaling N21,500, to buy hemp at Tejuosho Market.
He said that when the hemp seller realised that the notes were fake, he drew the attention of a police officer, who was on patrol in the area.
“My lord, the Indian hemp seller was also arrested for possessing an illegal substance,” Oriabure said.
The alleged offences contravene Sections 411 and 372 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).
Section 411 stipulates two-year imprisonment for conspiracy; while possession of forged banknotes attracts seven-year jail term, in line with the provisions of Section 372.
The defendants were granted bail in the sum of N100,000 each, with two sureties in like sum.
The Magistrate, E.N. Ojuromi, ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed, with evidence of three-year tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
She adjourned the case until January 14, 2020, for mention.