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EFCC arraigns 24 students in court over internet fraud

Valentine Chinyem

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned 24 students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University and the National Open University of Nigeria for their involvement in internet fraud, also known as ‘yahoo-yahoo’.

The anti-graft agency said their arrest was effected after the commission tracked their fraudulent activities.

This was made known in a statement released on Wednesday by the agency’s spokesman, Mr. Tony Orilade, who said 10 of the suspects were arraigned on Monday, while the other 14 were arrainged on Tuesday at the federal high court in Abeokuta, Ogun state.

He said, “The journey to the dock for the suspects began when the EFCC got wind of their activities through series of intelligence alleging that the suspected fraudsters engaged in fraudulent activities of obtaining money by false pretence through sending emails to unsuspecting victims mostly in the United States of America while others were engaged in romance scam on several dating sites.”

“Ten of the defendants which include: Agboola Taiwo, Adetayo Tade Ademiluyi, Rabiu Daniel, Sokoya Oluwaseyi, Fredrick Shaibu, Oshikoya Gbolahan, Adegbola Kazeem Aina, Ademosun Opeyemi, Tosin Awobona and Babarinde Jacob were arraigned Monday, 10th December, 2018 before Hon. Justice Ibrahim Watilat of the Federal High Court 2 sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“Fourteen others, comprising of Adeleke Oluwamayowa, Banjo Femi, Towolawi Olanrewaju, Tijani Babatunde, Sarafadeen Abibullahi, Adebowale Abimbola, Osunkoya Korede, Mufutau Yusuf Akorede, Salisu Ajibola, Olamikan Oluwasiji, Oduwole Gbenga, Damilare Adelaja, Bakare Azeez Adebola and Edward Ayodeji were arraigned on Tuesday 11th December, 2018 before Hon. Justice M. S. Abubakar of the Federal High Court 1 sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“The defendants were all arraigned on separate charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretences, impersonation and possession of fraudulent documents.”

One of the charges against one of the suspects read: “That you, Rabiu Daniel (a.K.a. Agent Howard Hall) on 23rd June, 2018 at Abeokuta within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, knowingly had in your possession documents containing false pretences to wit: an e-mail address, [email protected] wherein you represented yourself as; Agent Howard Hall, working for the Government/Facebook Compensation Bonus and Poverty Eradication, and other false pretences, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6, and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.”

Another charge read: “That you Adegbola Kazeem Aina (a.K.a. Marry Linson) sometimes in 2018, at Abeokuta within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $350 (Three Hundred and Fifty United State of American Dollars) from David Davis, a United State of American Citizen when you falsely represented that you are a woman (Marry Linson), which money you use to collect through Itunes Gift Card and sell them in Naira through AFRBTC.Com, which representation 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.”

All the suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them.

They were however, remanded in Abeokuta prison pending the perfection of their bail conditions.

The cases of the first 10 have been adjourned to January 28, 2019, and the cases of the 14 were adjourned to February 5, 6, 7 and 12.