Absence of a prosecution witness on Wednesday stalled the trial of one Abiodun Amusa charged with N88.1 million fraud before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Amusa is standing trial on a four-count charge bordering on possession of fraudulent documents and retention of proceeds of criminal conduct.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting him.
EFCC counsel, Mr Samuel Daji, told the court on Wednesday that prosecution had planned to close its case but its last witness could not make it to the court.
Daji prayed the court for a short adjournment to enable it to present the witness for evidence.
Defence counsel, Mr Olarewaju Ajanaku, did not object to the submission.
NAN reports that the defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was arraigned on Nov. 1, 2021. EFCC alleges that the defendant had between Oct. 24, 2020 and Aug. 20, 2021 in Lagos, retained N88.1 million in his First Bank account which he knew to be proceeds of various internet and cyber crimes.
According to the commission, the alleged offences contravene Sections 1 (3)(d), 6 (8)(b) and 17 (a)(b) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences, 2006. Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until Aug. 12 for further hearing.
Social media influencer, Adedamola Adewale (alias Adeherself), charged with fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was on Wednesday granted N500,000 bail by an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
In a ruling, Justice Sherifat Solebo also ordered that Adewale must provide two sureties with reliable means of income which would be verified by the court.
Solebo adjourned the case until Aug. 5 for substantive hearing.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the defendant, who had been in the custody of the EFCC following her arraignment in court on July 7, is facing a charge of possession of fraudulent document.
According to EFCC counsel, Mr Samuel Daji, the defendant was arrested following intelligence received by the EFCC on the activities of some young men allegedly involved in internet fraud in the Lekki axis of Lagos.
“Adeherself on June 15, with the intent to defraud, had in her possession a fraudulent document which was entitled ‘WhatsApp’.
“The offence violates Sections 318 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011,” Daji said.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
An Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos State on Wednesday sentenced an unemployed man, Lawal Sholaru, to six months imprison for defrauding an American, Mr David Geobel, of $1200 (N466,212) through the Internet.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Sholaru had at his arraignment on March 18 pleaded guilty to a charge of obtaining money by false pretences proffered against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The defendant was remanded at the Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centre, after his arraignment and the scheduled delivery of the judgment was delayed due to the lockdown occasioned by outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Delivering the judgment online during a virtual proceeding, Justice Mojisola Dada said that Sholaru was convicted following his admission of guilt, but granted him an option of N100,000 fine in lieu of term in jail.
“The timeous plea of guilty of the defendant is very impressive and commendable, he has exhibited great remorse for his action.
“He has also unwittingly spent about two months in custody. In the interest of justice, the defendant is hereby sentenced to six months imprisonment.
“The sentence is to commence from March 18, 2020 when he was first remanded in custody or an option of a fine of N100,000 in lieu of his prison term,” the judge said.
Justice Dada ordered that the defendant shall forfeit his vehicle and any other property recovered from him by the EFCC to the Federal Government as proceeds of crime.
“He shall undertake to be of good behaviour and never to be involved in any other crime. This is the judgment of the court,” she said.
Following the judgment, the defence counsel Mr Kunle Aina, thanked the court.
Earlier during the proceedings, the EFCC Prosecutor, Mr Samuel Daji gave a brief summary of the facts of the case.
“Based on intelligence received by the Commission, the defendant was arrested on March 8, 2020 at Lakers Club, Ikorodu, Lagos State, on suspicion of engaging in internet fraud.
“The defendant made a confessional statement where he admitted that he defrauded a US citizen, one Mr David Geobel, to the tune of $1,200.
“He also admitted to representing himself as one Alicia White. Further investigations were carried out on the defendants email address and fraudulent documents where the defendant represented himself as an American General were uncovered,” he said.
The EFCC prosecutor, to strengthen the anti-graft agency’s case, tendered to the court the defendant’s confessional statements dated March 8 and March 11, as well as the alleged fraudulent documents found in Sholaru’s possession.
“Investigations revealed that the defendant had no other source of livelihood other than internet fraud and his car was bought from the proceeds of crime,” Daji said.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)