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Ibadan: EFCC Secures Conviction of Fraudsters, Arraigns Three

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Crime & Court

#EndSARS: Makinde Frees 6 Suspects Arrested At Ogbomoso’s Protest

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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.”

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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.

 

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Crime & Court

Court Jails Five Internet Fraudsters in Abeokuta

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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.


The convicts are, Babalola Kehinde Omogbolohan; Adekoya Abayomi Peter; Stephen Ogbebor Damilare; Opeogun Temitope Felix and Sodiq Sanni (a.k.a Alan Anderson).

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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Crime & Court

Court freezes Lagos Speaker’s accounts over alleged fraud

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the interim freezing of  three bank accounts belonging to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa.

The three accounts domiciled in Standard Chartered Bank and the funds placed in them are to be temporarily frozen pending the conclusion of the investigation and possible prosecution of the allegations of fraud made against the Speaker.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo on Thursday made the order pursuant to a motion ex-parte filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC which is investigating the Speaker for offenses of conspiracy, diversion of funds, abuse of office and money laundering.

According to the  EFCC,  it filed the matter “Pursuant to section 44 (2) (K) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and section 26, 29, and 34 (1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004.

After reading the affidavit evidence made by an EFCC investigator, Muhammed Abubakar, and listening to the submissions of the EFCC Counsel Ibrahim Suleiman, the court granted the order on September 15, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Speaker is said to have honored the EFCC’s investigation yesterday  to answer questions on the allegations made against him.

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