Internet Fraudster Forfeits N230m, Another Bags 35 Years in Ilorin
Internet Fraudster Forfeits N230.6m, $80.59 To FG
Justice Saliu Sai’du of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, ordered the final forfeiture of the sums of N210, 287, 697.45; N5, 320, 373.40; N15, 008,809.79 and $80.59 about (Two hundred and Thirty Million Naira) belonging to one Dehinbo Oluwatobi Reuben, an internet fraudster, to the Federal Government.
Justice Sai’du had, on May 16, 2019, ordered an interim forfeiture of the various sums of money, following an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
In grating the application, Justice Sai’du had ordered the applicant, the EFCC, to publish the interim forfeiture order in any national newspaper for the respondent, Reuben, or anyone who was interested in the sums of money to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
In compliance with the order of the court, the Commission had published the interim forfeiture order in The Nation newspaper and subsequently filed a motion on notice dated June 19, 2019.
At today’s proceedings, the judge, upon hearing the applicant’s motion on notice, supporting affidavit and written address, ordered the final forfeiture of the various sums of money found by the Commission in the various accounts of the respondent domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The respondent, a member of a syndicate of fraudsters who specialize in identity theft, wire fraud and mail fraud, had been arrested following intelligence report received by the Commission.
Investigation revealed that the syndicate obtained the stolen Personal Identification Information of over 250,000 individuals in the US and used the details to file fraudulent Federal and State tax returns.
It was further revealed that the syndicate obtained monetary value on the fraudulent tax returns, using prepaid cards registered with the stolen information and third party bank accounts.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
Internet Fraudster Bags 35 Years in Ilorin
Justice M. Abdulgafar of a Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 convicted and sentenced an internet fraudster, Ajayi Temitope Charles to 35 years in prison without an option of fine.
Charles was first arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on March 13, 2019 for engaging in internet fraud.
One of the five count charges against him reads: “That you, Ajayi Temitope Charles, popularly known as Teresa Simons on or about the 27th of February, 2019, in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, had in your possession document, which you knew contained false pretence, and thereby, committed an offence contrary to Section 6 and 8(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
He had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, prompting the commencement of his trial.
However, at the end of the trial, Justice Abdulgafar ruled that the EFCC proved its case against him, “beyond reasonable doubts”.
The trial judge held that: “The evidence of PW1, Olamide Sadiq was left unchallenged by the defendant, all the chats and text messages were printed from his email address in his presence.
“I have considered the testimonies of the PW1, this honourable court is of the opinion that the PW1 is a witness of truth, the Accused Person indeed was in possession of fake documents, and the prosecution has sufficiently linked the defendant to the email address.”
Delivering judgement, Justice Abdulgafar, further rejected as untrue, the testimony of the convict where he claimed that the Police brought him to the office of the EFCC on the day of his arrest following his inability to pay the money they requested for.
“The story of the defendant being sent to the EFCC because he did not pay bribe to the police could not hold water, he lied to the court, I do not believe the evidence of the defendant, and the prosecution has proved this case beyond reasonable doubt,” the trial judge said.
Thereafter, Justice Abdulgafar pronounced him guilty as charged.
Before sentencing, defence counsel, A.B. Bakare, in his allocutus, appealed for mercy, and urged the court to temper justice with mercy, stressing that his client was a first-time offender.
Counsel for the EFCC, Ola Sesan, however, opposed the request and urged the court to sentence him according to the provisions of the law.
“Going by the provisions of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, the minimum punishment for this type of offence is seven years and maximum of 20 years, the court cannot use its discretion outside the same,” he said.
Justice Abdulgafar, thereafter, sentenced him to seven years in prison on each of the five counts. The sentence is to run concurrently.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
Court Jails Fraudster 7 yrs for defrauding EFCC Staff, another Two yrs for Oil Scam
Justice H.J.O Oshomah of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced Obinna James to seven (7) Years imprisonment for conspiracy and false pretence with intent to defraud an operative of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to the tune of N450,000.00 (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira).
In the same Court, another judge, Justice I. M Sani on Monday, June 24, 2019 convicted two drivers: Mohammed Jidda and Mohammed Isa and fined them N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) only each for illegal dealing in petroleum, products.
While James was arraigned by the EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Office in September, 2012 on a three -count charge bordering on conspiracy and false pretence with intent to defraud, Jidda and Isa were arraigned by the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office on Monday, June 24, 2019 on one count- charge each bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products.
One of the count charge against James reads: ” That you Obinna James, Eddy Ogagu and others now at large on or about 7th day of September, 2012 at Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire amongst yourselves and others now at large to commit an offence to wit: Obtain by False Pretence contrary to Section 8 (a) and read together with Section 9 (2) both of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under the same Act”.
He initially pleaded “not guilty” at the point of arraignment, thus necessitating his trial. However, he changed his plea to “guilty” at the resumed hearing of the case and the judge convicted and sentenced him to 7 years imprisonment.
Both the prosecuting counsel, Celestina Okorie and the defense counsel, J. Osunpor agreed on the convict’s plea of “guilty”.
James got into trouble when he attempted to defraud an operative of the EFCC in Port Harcourt and was arrested in the process of collecting money from him. He contacted the operative on a phony contract deal and the operative played along until he was arrested.
Specifically, the convict requested for the sum of N450,000 under a false pretence that it will be used to purchase a sample of an oil tool called “WHW TYPE 10A (Green Rock) allegedly needed by Agip Oil Company in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Concerning Jidda and Isa, their arraignment was upon a petition written to the EFCC by the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt, accusing them of conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products.
The count charge against them read: “That you Mohammed Jidda on or about the 20th April, 2018 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without appropriate licence deal in petroleum product to Wit: a Mack Tanker with registration number BAU 988 XR loaded with adulterated Automated Gas Oil (AGO) 40,000 litres and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 4(1) and punishable under Section 4(6) of the petroleum Act CAP P10 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act, 2007”.
Both of them pleaded guilty on the one count charge preferred against them.
In view of their “guilty” pleas, prosecuting counsel, F.O Amama, urged the court to convict them accordingly. Defence counsel, M. M. Suleiman did not object to Amama’s prayers but sued for mercy for the convict.
Justice Sani convicted and sentenced them to a fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000) which is to be paid to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The two drivers’ journeys to prison began when they were arrested by the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt for dealing in petroleum products without being licensed. Jidda was caught with 40,000 litres of products confirmed to be adulterated Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) while Isa was also caught transporting unspecified quantity of products confirmed to be AGO.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
Fraudster Bags Six months Imprisonment
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Benin Zonal Office, on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 secured the conviction of Igbinigie Eghosasere at the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State. Eghosasere was arraigned on a two count charge bordering on impersonation.
Eghosasere is alleged to have impersonated Adriana Samuel and Jeremiah Ikpomwonsa, an offence contrary to Section 22 (2)(b)(ii) of the Cybercrime (prohibition prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (iv) of the same Act.
One of the counts reads: “That you Igbinigie Eghosasere on or about the 6th of May 2019 at Benin City within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court fraudulently impersonated Adriana Samuel and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2)(b)(ii)of the Cybercrime (prohibition prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22(2)(b)(iv)of the same Act”.
Upon his arraignment, the defendant pleaded guilty to the charge. In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Kingsĺey Udus prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant as contained in the plea bargain agreement between the prosecution and defendant.
Justice A. A. Demi-Ajayi convicted and sentenced Eghosasere to six months imprisonment with a fine of N500,000.
He is also to forfeit an Infinix Smart 1 phone (Android) recovered from him during investigation.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
EFCC Arraigns Suspected Fraudster over $12,000 Romance Scam
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office on Monday, June 24 , 2019 arraigned Aretuemhen Frank (a.k.a Williams Rodgers) before Justice M. L Abubakar of the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on four- count charge bordering on false pretences, impersonation, possession of scam documents and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
Specifically, Frank was docked for allegedly defrauding an American lady, Thorman Benson the sum of $12000 (Twelve Thousand American Dollars) in series of online dating deals.
One of the count charges read: “That you Aretuemhen Frank, on or about December, 2018, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently impersonated one Max Allen, a United States of America soldier, with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22
(3) (a) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the four- count charge preferred against him.
In view of his plea, prosecuting counsel, Samuel Chime applied for a trial date to open his case, while the defense counsel, P.O Nworah, informed the court of an application for bail for his client.
Justice Abubakar granted the applicant bail in the sum of N1million and one surety in like sum. The surety must be a civil servant residing within the jurisdiction of the court. The judge also remanded him in EFCC custody pending the time he meets his bail condition. He adjourned the matter to July 3, 2019 for trial.
Frank’s ordeal began when Operatives of the EFCC, acting on intelligence, raided his hide out and arrested him. An iPhone 6s plus was recovered from him.
Investigation revealed that Frank was representing himself as an American with the United States Army, using Max Allen as his identity. With the fraudulent identity, he succeeded in defrauding an American lady, Thorman Benson the sum of $12,000 by promising to marry her.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
Synergy Key in Anti-corruption Fight- Magu
The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, on Monday, June 24 stated that collaboration was key in the fight against corruption. He also urged all Nigerians to embrace the fight. “We need to appeal to all Nigerians to take ownership of the fight against corruption,” Magu said.
The EFCC boss stated this as the chairman and founder, Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy & Development and former External Affairs Minister, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari paid him a courtesy visit in the EFCC corporate headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.
Magu further disclosed that efforts were being made by the Commission to involve religious leaders in the anti-corruption fight, noting that religious leaders were in position to speak to their followers on the ills of corruption and the need to eradicate it.
While appreciating the efforts of the Commission, Prof Gambari stated that there was no alternative to the fight against corruption and that it was a fight for everyone.
The former Minister disclosed that his organization was committed to the anti-corruption mandate of the EFCC, adding that “everybody must insist on doing what is right in order to overcome corruption.”
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity