Internet Fraud Suspect Makes U Turn, Begs for Plea Bargain
A 24 year-old Internet fraud suspect, Babatunde Muhammad Bashir, who is being prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, before Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court on four counts of internet fraud today informed the court of his decision to enter into a plea bargain negotiation with the prosecution.
The defendant had on October 8, 2019 pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the four count information brought against him by the EFCC.
Count one of the charge reads, “That you, Babatunde Muhammad Bashir on or about the 20th day of September 2019 in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Kwara State, with intend to defraud, had in your possession a document containing false pretence, to wit: hangout with +1 6212-913-2052, in which you represented yourself as a Detective and requested one Mr Elian Torres Saucedo to send $500 gift cards, a representation you knew to be false 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”.
When the matter came up for hearing today, October 30, the prosecuting counsel, Christopher Mschelia informed the court that the Commission had received a request for plea bargain from the defendant.
“My Lord, this matter is slated today for commencement of trial but yesterday the 29th of October 2019 I received an application for plea bargain on behalf of the defendant. In the light of the above, we shall be asking for a date to enable us to process the application, ” he said.
The defence counsel, Lanre Badmus confirmed the application.
Justice Oyinloye consequently adjourned the case to November 13, 2019 for parties to report on the plea agreement.
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EFCC Arraigns Two for Cybercrime
The Abuja Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today October 30, 2019 arraigned the duo of Ugbede Hassan Ocholi and Ngbegha Job Aondona before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja on a seven count charge bordering on internet fraud and obtaining under false pretence.
One of the counts reads: “That you Ugbede Hassan Ocholi and Ngbegha Job Aondona sometime in 2019 at Abuja within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire between yourselves to commit an offence to wit: computer related fraud and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 14 (1)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015”.
Both defendants pleaded not guilty, prompting the prosecution counsel, Aishatu Ibrahim to ask the court for adjournment in order to present her witnesses for trial.
The defence counsel, Chris Alashi and VM Sefiano, moved bail applications for their clients which were opposed by the prosecution counsel.
Justice Abang however granted the defendants bail in the sum of N1, 500,000 each. They are also to deposit their international passports with the court registry and must not travel outside of the court’s jurisdiction without permission of court.
The matter has been adjourned to January 21, 22, and 23, 2020 for trail.
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