Bizman, 34, docked over alleged N1m fraud



A 34-year-old businessman, Oluwabunkola Alawode, was on Thursday docked before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court over alleged N1 million obtained under false pretences.

The defendant, who resides at Abioye area of Egan in Igando, Lagos, was arraigned on charges of obtaining by false pretences and stealing.

The Prosecutor, ASP Raji Akeem, told the court that the offences were committed on Oct. 2 at Badmus Street, Igando, Lagos.

Akeem alleged that the defendant obtained N1 million from Mrs Funmilayo Olowolagba on false pretences that he was going to procure an American visa for her.

He also alleged that since then, the defendant had been avoiding the complainant and the case was reported at the police station.

The offences, according to the prosecutor, contravened Sections 280 and 314 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs O. A. Layinka, granted the defendant bail of N2 million with two sureties in like sum.

Layinka adjourned the case until Jan. 1, 2020 for mention.

Edited & Vetted By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Olagoke Olatoye



Alleged Fraud: Court orders interim forfeiture of businessman’s N827m to FG



Justice Aneke gave the order, following an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Aneke directed the EFCC to publish the order in any national daily for any interested party to appear before the court within 14 days and show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal government.

The court fixed June 29 for parties to show cause.

The EFCC through its counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, had told the court that Edevbie owned a firm, Flank Power Ltd.

He said that the forfeited sum, comprising N616.6million and N211 million was deposited in Flank Power Ltd’s bank account between February 11 and 19.

According to the commission, the sum is ‘reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud related offences Act, 2006 and Section 44(2)b of the 1999 Constitution.

EFCC said that if the application ‘was not heard and determined expeditiously, the monies housed in the said bank account sought to be temporarily forfeited will be dissipated.’

The commission tendered an affidavit of urgency in support of the motion ex parte sworn to by an EFCC Investigating Officer, Mr Chidi Nweke.

Nweke identified himself as one ‘of the operatives of the EFCC assigned to investigate the intelligence report received’ against Edevbie.

He said: ‘The said intelligence was investigated, traced to and recovered from Edevbie, who is the owner of Flank Power Resources.

‘We traced some of these monies to the bank account of Flank Power Resources Ltd containing monies sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government,”he said.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Fraud: Court sentences ex-Adamawa Pilgrims Welfare boss to 5 years imprisonment



The Adamawa High Court sitting in Yola has sentenced a former executive secretary, Adamawa State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Bishop Jingi Mayo, to five years imprisonment.

Mr Bello Bakori, Adamawa Commissioner, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), confirmed the development in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Yola.

Bakori said that Jingi was the executive secretary of the board between 2016 and 2017, and was sentenced to correctional facility on March 23, 2020, without option of fine.

He said the defendant was charged on a 3-count charge filed on the Jan. 30, 2019, for violating the provisions of Sections 16, 19 and 25(1)(a) of ICPC Act.

The charges, according to the commissioner, are punishable under Sections 16, 19 and 25(1)(b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

“The convict was charged to Court on Jan. 30, 2019, for diverting and furnishing of false return in respect of the sum of N69,198,600.00 (Sixty Nine million, One Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand and Six Hundred Naira).

“The amount after thorough investigations was discovered meant for the operation committees of the 2016 Christian Pilgrims operation to Israel and fraudulently the convict diverted the amount for personal use.

“The convict was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Adamawa High Court presided by Justice Nathan Musa, for diverting government money and making  false statement to the officer of the Commission,” the statement read in part.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Alleged Fraud: Court admits Oyo-Ita to N100m bail, releases her to counsel



Alleged Fraud: Court admits Oyo-Ita to N100m bail, releases her to counsel: A Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday admitted Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, former Head of Service to bail in the sum N100 million   and two sureties in like sum.

Two other defendants, Garba Umar and Ubong Effiok were also granted bail in the sum of N50 million each and two sureties in like sum.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo admitted them to bail and released them to their counsels citing the Coronavirus pandemic as the reason for releasing them to their counsel.

The judge said that in view of the pandemic, he could not endanger the lives of the defendants by remanding them in EFCC custody.

He, however, warned that the defendants must report to the EFCC office everyday between 10AM and 12 Noon for seven days pending when they would perfect their bail conditions.

According to the judge, if the bail conditions are not perfected after seven days, they will be remanded in EFCC custody.

Other conditions of the bail include that one of the sureties must be a civil servant on Grade Level 17 in and Federal Government ministry, parastatal or agency.

“The Surety must be resident in Abuja and own property worth N100 million.

“The other surety where not a civil servant must be gainfully employed and depose to an affidavit of means.”

For Umar and Effiok, one of their surety must be resident in Abuja and own property worth N50 million.

The defendants are all expected to deposit their international passports with the registrar of the court.

Oyo-Ita  and eight others were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on an 18-count charge bordering on money laundering and breach of public trust.

She was arraigned alongside Frontline Ace Global Services Limited; Asanaya Projects Limited; Garba Umar ;Slopes International Limited; Gooddeal Investments Limited; Ubong  Effiok; U & U Global Services Limited and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges while a “not guilty” plea was entered for the companies.

They were arraigned for fraud in relation to Duty Tour Allowances, (DTA), Estacodes, conference fees fraud and receiving kick-backs on contracts.

The EFCC particularly accused the former head of service of colluding with Effiok and one Titus Tomsin to make bogus claims of fictitious DTA, estacodes and conference fees which were paid by government to their accounts.

Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN), counsel to Oyo-Ita informed the court that he had filed an application for bail and pleaded with the court to hear the application even though he had only just served the prosecution.

“In view of the situation in the  world today where there is a clear and present danger of threat to life under congested conditions, I wish to plead that we take the application today or that I be allowed to make an oral application for bail,” Erokoro pleaded.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Mohammed Abubakar confirmed that he had been served with the applications for bail.

Abubakar said that even though he appreciated the fact that the country was going through a trying period, measures such as social distancing had been put in place to check it.

He, however, acknowledged that bail was at the discretion of the court but urged that should the court be mindful to grant bail, it should impose stringent measures.

Earlier, the judge announced that in view of the Coronavirus pandemic, the court would entertain only cases dealing with applications for bail and breech of fundamental rights where the defendants were incarcerated.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza

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Science & Technology

NCC committed to curbing financial fraud-Adewolu



The Nigerian Communications Commission( NCC) has assured the general public of its commitment to curb financial fraud through telecommunications platforms.

The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management (ECSM), NCC, Mr  Adeleke Adewolu gave the assurance on Tuesday in Abuja at the 4th quarter 2019 Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) meeting.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the meeting was opened to critical stakeholders responsible for combating financial fraud committed through telecommunications platforms.

Adewolu decried the rising trend of electronic fraud across key sectors of the Nigerian economy through electronic banking such as debit Cards, Mobile Money and e-payment systems.

He said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rated e-fraud as the biggest risk in the financial sector, which had widely incorporated electronic payment solutions.

He identified such solutions as  Automated Teller Machines (ATMS), Nigeria InterBank Settlement System (NIBBS) Instant Payments and Mobile Banking.

He said that the telecommunications sector was also not immuned from the scourge of cyber fraudsters across the country thus, the need to curb the menace.

Attackers are now targeting Telecom networks with the intent to disrupt service delivery and infiltrate their data banks.

Illegal SIM Swaps and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) e-payment frauds, are currently some of the most serious cyber threats in the telecom industry.

fraudsters conduct illegal SIM swaps of targeted individuals and then conduct USSD-based transactions, which cost the unlucky victims huge losses.

This malevolent use of modem technologies is taking its toll on the Nigerian telecoms industry, as some subscribers have lost huge sums of money to telecom related financial crimes since the emergent use of smartphone technology in the country,” he said.

He, however, noted  that NCC was collaborating with relevant stakeholders to protect the interests of consumers by implementing technical and operational solutions to curb the scourge.

The stakeholders include; the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Police Force, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (iCPC) among others.

Recently, the National Assembly, through the House of Representatives, set up an Adhoc Committee on the increasing incidents of SIM Swap Fraud.

The NCC, security agencies and other stakeholders were invited by the committee to deliberate on the issue and we discussed various ways of curbing this and other cyber crimes.

Permit me to emphasise that effective collaboration between government agencies, private organisations and individuals is pivotal in tackling this scourge of electronic fraud.

“A prominent example of this collaboration is the Committee on Electronic Banking Fraud, whose drivers comprise NCC,

Mobile Network Operators (MVOs), Banks, the Nigerian lnter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS), the Wireless Applications Services Providers Association of Nigeria.”

Mrs Felicia Onwwuegbuchulam, Director Consumer Affairs Bureau NCC, described the theme, “Financial Fraud Using Telecoms Platforms What Consumers Need to Know” as apt.

She noted that financial fraud, using telecoms platforms, had been on the front burner for both the financial and telecoms sectors in recent time.

She said that the commission had put in place education of consumers on financial frauds through its various outreach programmes such as and Telecom Consumer Parliament.

Others,she said were, consumer Outreach Programme, Consumer Town Hall Meeting

Elite Enlightenment Programme, Collaboration with various advocacy groups, Participation at Trade Fairs, amongst others.

The director advised that adequate education, information sharing and the provision of an array of channels for redress would safeguard telecom consumers and innovatively promote the prospect for greater consumer Experience.

The negative implications of such frauds are not only huge in financial losses but also high in reputational damage to telecoms operators, financial institutions, the regulators (NCC and CBN), security agencies and the nation at huge.

The consumer is one of the major stakeholders in the telecoms industly. It is our desire, as a commission, to ensure that they enjoy primary focus,” she said.

The forum had paper presentations with themes such as ”Detecting Telecommunications Frauds by Understanding the Contents of a Call, Text or Email” and “Data Depletion Causes and Recommendation.”

Mr Ben Anyalenkwe, Managing Director, New Capital Cooperative amongst other stakeholders noted efforts ongoing in promoting cyber security and use of data education.

NAN recalls that the commission held a Stakeholders Forum on Financial Fraud using Telecoms Platforms, Jan.29 and came up with14 far reaching resolutions one of which was that the NCC and all other stakeholders should sign an MOU with the security agencies.

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