The Nigerian Police Force said it has apprehended a five-man gang of fake journalists.
It said the fake journalists operate by gate-crashing into important events with the mission to steal expensive phones and money.
Identified as the leader of the gang is a 43-year-old Musa Auwalu, from Nasarawa LGA of Kano, who has reportedly built a mansion from the proceeds of the crime.
This revelation was made in a statement issued by Force PPRO, CSP Jimoh Moshood on Friday.
The names of other gang members appeared as Kolawole Akinbode, 50, from Ogun Central LGA of Ogun state; 53-year-old Umar Tahir Abba, from Mubi of Adamawa state; 55 year-old Abdulahi Muhammed from Gudunfulani, LGA of Bauchi state and 60 year-old Muhammad sale from Ngogo, LGA of Kano state.
The statement said, “The gang leader has built a house in Kano from the huge foreign currencies he stole during a wedding of a Very Important Personality last year in Abuja.
“The Inspector General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team trailed and arrested the above mentioned suspects after complaints of stolen phones from important personalities who attended a prominent wedding in Abeokuta, Ogun State on the 8th July, 2017.
“They were arrested in different states of the Federation namely: Ogun, Edo, Abuja and Kano States. The exhibits listed above were recovered from them.
“The house built in Kano State from the huge foreign currencies the gang leader stole during a wedding of a Very Important Personality last year in Abuja has been identified.
“The suspects confessed to the crime and admitted to the various criminal roles they played in the commission of the offence.
“The suspects confessed further that they specialise in impersonating journalists in order to gain access into venues of VIPs events/occasions to steal Handsets, Money and defraud high profile persons and unsuspecting members of the public at the venues of events in major cities in the country.
“Investigation is being intensified to arrest other suspects at large. All suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigation.”
#EndSARS: Makinde Frees 6 Suspects Arrested At Ogbomoso’s Protest
No fewer than six suspects arrested in connection with the crisis that visited the protest against police brutality at Ogbomoso recently have been freed by the court as prayed by Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde.
The suspects include Olaoluwa Busayo, Olagoke David, Olusola Matthew, Amole Adebayo, Adedokun Segun and Ganiyu Saheed.
The protest against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) had led to vandalization of the palace of Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade on Sunday 10th of October, 2020 while the six suspects were apprehended by the police as being part of those responsible for the attack on the palace.
A statement issued by the State Ministry of Justice, titled ‘Re-unconditional Release of the 6 Suspects Arrested In Ogbomoso in Connection with Ongoing National Protest’ and signed by the Director Public Prosecution, Mr Nathaniel Okeniyi on Tuesday and made available to the press said, upon the visit of the State governor to Ogbomoso immediately after the incident after which the governor visited the palace and later addressed protesters, he promised to set the arrested individuals free as demanded by the protesters.
“Sequel to the promise of his Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde at Ogbomoso to effect the release of the suspects arrested in connection with the protest, today, being 19th October, 2020, the Chief Magistrate Court 2, Iyaganku Ibadan, on application of Attorney General has discharged and withdrawn the charge filed against the suspects forthwith.”
Recall that governor Seyi Makinde gave his support to peaceful protest which he said was borne out of high level of youths’ unemployment and poverty in the land, he called on the police to take the back sit in the protest while the men of ‘Operation Burst’ should give the protesters adequate protection and avert its being hijacked by hoodlums.
Ibadan: EFCC Secures Conviction of Fraudsters, Arraigns Three
Justice Sherifat Adeyemi of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan, on Wednesday, sentenced one Balaji Salami to prison for fraud.
The convict was prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on amended one-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence, contrary to Section 419 of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State 2000.
The charge read: “That you Bolaji Salami sometime in March, 2020, at Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, obtained various gift cards, worth the sum of USD$150 (One Hundred and Fifty United States Dollars) from one Smith Johnson, a white male American citizen, when you falsely represented to him that you are a white female American by name Angelina James, that you are in love with him and wanted to marry him, which representations you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence.”
He pleaded guilty to the offence following which the judge pronounced him guilty as charged and sentenced him to six months imprisonment with effect from his June 30, 2020 date of arrest.
Apart from his prison term, he would restitute his victim, the sum of $150 USD (One Hundred and Fifty United States of American Dollars) and forfeit his iPhone X Max, Itel mobile phones and HP laptop computer to the federal government.
Similarly, Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Wednesday, October 14, sentenced one Olanrewaju Isaac Olatunji (a.k.a. Mia Cruz) to one year imprisonment for fraud. He was prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission on amended one-count charge of criminal impersonation.
The charge read: “That you Olanrewaju Isaac Olatunji (a.k.a. Mia Cruz) sometime in May 2019 at Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, knowingly impersonated one Mia Cruz, a white female, when you falsely represented yourself to Abigail Mccaroll, in order to gain advantage for yourself, contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (ii) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015, and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) of the same Act.”
He pleaded guilty to the charge upon which prosecution counsel, Mabas Mabur asked the court to sentence and convict him accordingly.
The judge sentenced him to one year imprisonment with effect from February 13, 2020, day of his arrest. His is also to restitute the sum of $1600 (One Thousand Six Hundred United States Dollars) to his victim through the EFCC, and forfeit his Honda Crosstour and other items recovered from him to the federal government.
Meanwhile, the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission also yesterday, arraigned the trio of Adedapo Olayiwola, Adebola Aderonke Adesina and her company, Kestrel Travels and Tour Limited, before Justice Sherifat Adeyemi.
Olayiwola is being prosecuted on a five-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence, contrary to Section 1 (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
He is alleged to have fraudulently obtained over N4 million (Four Million Naira) from different victims on the pretence that he has plots of land to sell to them.
However, the victims, with time, discovered that the said plots of land did not belong to him.
“That you Olayiwola Adedapo sometime in 2016, in Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N1,400,000 (One Million Four Hundred Thousand Naira) from one Monsuru Watiu Adekunle under the pretext that it is the purchase price for two acres of land, situated at Oyigun Village, Akinyele, Ibadan which you claimed belong to you, which representations you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, upon which prosecution counsel, Murtala Usman asked the court for a commencement date of trial and for him to be remanded in prison custody.
Justice Adeyemi admitted Olayiwola to bail in the sum of N5million and two sureties in like sum. The sureties are to provide a valid means of identification, verified by the EFCC. He was given seven days to comply with the bail conditions or be returned to EFCC’s custody. The case was adjourned till December 2, 2020.
Adesina, on her part, was arraigned alongside her company on one-count charge of stealing, contrary to Section 390 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.
She was alleged to have fraudulently obtained the sum of N2,400,000 (Two Million, Four Hundred Thousand Naira) from one Adeniyi Taiwo Dauda through her company on the pretence that she could help him procure visas for some of his clients. She, however, failed to deliver on her promise and refused to refund the money to her victim.
The charge read, “That you, Adesina Adebola Aderonke and Kestrel Travels and Tours Limited sometime in February, 2019 at Ibadan, within the Ibadan Judicial Division of this honourable court, did commit an illegal act, to wit: stealing of the sum of N2,400,000.00 (Two Million and Four Hundred Thousand Naira) only, property of Adeniyi Taiwo Dauda.”
She pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, prompting prosecution counsel, Murtala Usman to ask the court for a commencement date of trial and for the defendant to be remanded in prison custody.
The court ordered that she be remanded in EFCC’s custody, pending an application for her bail and adjourned the matter till October 20, 2020 for hearing.
Court Jails Five Internet Fraudsters in Abeokuta
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan Zonal Office, on Thursday secured the conviction of five internet fraudsters in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Having pleaded guilty to amended one-count charge of fraudulent impersonation, Justice Ibrahim Watilat of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta Division convicted and sentenced Omogbolohan, Damilare and Felix to five months in prison each, while Peter bagged four months for the crime.
Omogbolohan and Peter were given N100,000 option of fine each, while Felix and Damilare were handed N400,000 and N300,000 option of fine respectively.
Sanni (a.k.a Alan Anderson) was prosecuted before Justice Muhammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court of the same Abeokuta Judicial Division on amended one-count charge of fraudulent impersonation and having pleaded guilty, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment without an option of fine. All the convicts are to restitute their victims the sums of money they fraudulently obtained from them and forfeit all the items recovered from them to the federal government.
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