Three bag jail terms for internet fraud

Internet Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of three members of an internet fraud gang at the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State.
Two of the convicts, Prince Henry Ofeyi and Afatakpa David were convicted and sentenced by Justice P. I. Ajoku on Wednesday April 2 while the third convict, David Abumhere was convicted and sentenced on Thursday April 3, by the same judge.
Ofeyi and Afatakpa were prosecuited by the EFCC on one count of internet fraud each.
Ofeyi was said to have on October 5, 2017 falsely represented himself to be one Dexter Smith, a false identity he used in defrauding his victims.
The charge against him reads: “that you Prince Henry Ofeyi at Benin within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court with intent to defraud falsely represented yourself to be Dexter Smith, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 484 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, C39, 2004 and punishable under same Act.”
For Afatakpa, he was alleged to have represented himself as Vin Diesel, an American Movie Star on social media, an identity he used to defraud his victims.
The charge against him reads:” that you Afatakpa D.Tageme on or about September 9, 2017 at Benin within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court with intent to defraud on Instagram social media network falsely represented yourself to be Vin Diesel, an American Movie Star and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 484 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, C39,2004 and punishable under same Act”.
Upon arraignment, the duo pleaded guilty prompting the prosecution counsel, Aso Larry Peters to ask the court to convict the accused persons accordingly. He also told the court that the EFCC recovered the sum of Four Hundred Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety Naira(N400,590.00) and a Toyota Corolla Saloon car from Ofeyi, while the sum of Two Hundred Thousand ,Three Hundred and Forty Two Naira, Ninety Nine Kobo (N200,342.99) was recovered from Akatakpa. D.Tageme .
The defence counsel Moses Oriazowan pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy saying the accused persons were remorseful and have promised never to go back to such despicable act.
After listening to both counsel, Justice Ajoku sentenced the accused persons to one month imprisonment each and ordered that the proceeds of crime be forfeited to the Federal Government so that their victims can be restituted.
On Thursday April, 3, 2018, the EFCC secured the conviction of David Abumhenre on one count of internet fraud. The convict was sentenced to one month imprisonment by Justice Ajoku after pleading guilty to the charge. The convict is to forfeit the sum of N3.5million recovered from him to the Federal Government. Abumhere was said to have falsely represented himself as Tom Hanks, an American Movie Star, an identity he used to defraud his victims.

Bureau de change operator bags 3 years for fraud

Justice Abdullahi Yusuf of the Katsina state High Court on Thursday March 8, 2018 convicted and sentenced one Sale Mohammed Elleman to three years imprisonment for offences of criminal breach of trust, cheating, misappropriation and diversion of funds. The convict’s journey to prison began when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, received a petition from one Salisu Tambaya who alleged that Elleman, a Bureau De Change operator allegedly induced him in parting with the sum N13,000,000 under the pretext that the money would be invested in the BDC business.
One of the charge read that “you Saleh Mohammed Elleman Between the 27th may, to 25th June 2014 in Katsina within the judicial division of High Court of Justice of Katsina state being entrusted with certain property to wit the sum of N13, 000.000.00 by one Salisu Tambaya. Committed Criminal Breach of Trust and that you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 312 of the penal code”.
Upon arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
After diligent prosecution, Justice Yusuf was convinced that the convict was entrusted with the property in question, based on the testimonies of witnesses and the exhibits tendered.
“Although, the accused claimed to have invested the money, there was no evidence as to when the business commence, no any record whatsoever of the purported business transactions provided; it is in evidence that the accused could not give a satisfactory account of the said money,” the judge observed.
He consequently found the accused person guilty and sentenced him to three years imprisonment without option of fine.
The convict was also ordered to restitute the sum of N12, 200,000 (Twelve Million Two Hundred Thousand Naira Only) to the complainant.

Court jails two ex-OAGF officials over N1bn scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, November 13, 2017, secured the conviction of two former officials of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF,  Mohammed Dogonyaro Audu (also known as Abdullahi Dogonyaro Mohammed) and Yahaya Ayodeji.

Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Jabi, Abuja found them guilty of a 10-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy and complicity in award of contract to the tune of N1billion (One billion naira).

Trouble started for the duo after they allegedly abused their offices by floating companies through which they cornered contracts emanating from the Economic Reforms and Governance Project, ERGP, and Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS, domiciled in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

Audu and Ayodeji had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were arraigned on May 26, 2015, thereby setting the stage for their trial.

In the course of the trial, counsel to the EFCC, Cosmas Ugwu, presented three witnesses and tendered relevant documents which were all admitted in evidence.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Halilu said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt adding that, as public servants, the convicts abused their offices.

“I am not expected to remove or add anything before me. They (Audu and Ayodeji) took advantage of their offices and did what they did. For me, I do what my conscience and the law directs me to do”, the judge ruled.

He thereafter found Audu guilty on counts 1 to 10 and sentenced him to seven years on each count without an option of fine. Ayodeji was found guilty on counts 1, 3, 4, 5 and 9 and also sentenced to seven years on each count.

The sentences are to run concurrently.