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Court jails 26 internet fraudsters in Benin City

The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, between Friday, March 22, 2024 and Tuesday March 26, 2024 secured the conviction and sentence of 26 internet fraudsters before Justices Efe Ikponmwonba and M. Itsueli of the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.

The convicts are Balogun Oladipupo, Ehigiamusoe Desmond, Jeffery Enogieru, Awoke Godstime ThankGod, Gabriel Ugolo, Erhabor ThankGod Idahosa, Obaretin Osahebrunwen Samuel, Ilevba Endurance, Ilevba Isowanmwen, Osakhuwomwen Osayende, Eruangu Salvation, Destiny Osasenagu Osafanmen, Emmanuel Osafanmen, Azuka Victory Nzel, Enehizena Michael, Emmanuel Oladotun Oladotun, Abdulsalam Enakhe.

Others are Cyril Nowanmagbe Ojo, Wisdom Desmond John, Samuel Joseph, Ime Joseph Etim, Imafidon Kelvin, Sylvester Gabriel, Victor Jonathan Chika, Ejike Favour Madukaku and Abdullahi Rahman
They were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence, possession of fraudulent documents upon arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC.

The charge against Ilevba reads: “that you Endurance Osahon Ilevba sometime in 2023 in Benin City, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did with intent to defraud represent yourself to be Jason Statham, an American actor and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 384 (1) of the criminal Law of Edo State Law 2022.”

All the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them, prompting prosecution counsel, F. A. Jirbo. I. M. Elodi, I.K Agwai, K.Y. Bello, Bala-Ribah and Salihu Ahmed to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, stressing that they have become remorseful for their actions.

The duo of Ilevba and Endurance Osahon Ilevba bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) each while the quartet of Idahosa, Oladuton Cole, Michael and Abdullahi got two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each. Twenty others were sentenced to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each.
The judges ordered that the convicts forfeit their phones, laptops, three Mercedes-Benz vehicles, balances in their various bank accounts including the sum of Four Million, Fifty Two Thousand, Fifty Two Naira, Fifty Three kobo (N4,052,052.53) in the account of Ilevba being instrument and proceeds of crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria while Abdullahi was ordered to refund N480,000 to his victim. All the convicts are to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour afterwards.

The convicts’ road to the Correctional Centre began following their arrest by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the Commission based on actionable intelligence regarding their involvement in internet- related fraud.

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Lagos clampdown on illegal estate development

The Lagos State Government has clamped down on illegal estate developments around the Epe corridor of the state.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluyinka Olumide, said this in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

He stated that he led a special joint exercise to the axis on Thursday and Friday, based on the directive of the state executive council.

He mentioned some of the areas covered during the exercise to include: Alaro City, Okorisan, Igbodu, Molajoye, Shaala, Ketu, and Epe.

Olumide said notices were also served on estate developments such as Patriot Bay Estate, Smart City Estate, the Legend and Hilton Royal Garden.

Others are Greenland Estate, Legacy City, Isinmi Lagos, Dominion City, Topview Estate, and Ibi Alafia, among others.

He pointed out that erring estate developers were requested to visit relevant authorities to perfect their documents.

According to him, under no circumstances should any developer go ahead to start the development of estates without obtaining layout approval, planning permit, and fencing permit as may be required.

The commissioner added that the requirements were necessary to ensure the attainment of an organised, livable and sustainable built environment.

Olumide explained that layout approval was required for proper arrangement of the estate to give room for appropriate services and infrastructure, while the planning permit addressed the planning requirements on individual plots in the estate.

He urged property up-takers and buyers to be wary of investing in estates without approval, to avoid needless embarrassment from government officials.

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Police detain ADC to Fmr. Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

The aide-de-camp (ADC) to former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has been arrested and detained by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The Female police officer and others were arrested days after the former governor evaded arrest by EFCC operatives on Wednesday, April 17.

The officers were taken into custody on suspicion of aiding and abetting Bello’s escape from EFCC operatives.

The anti-graft agency had stormed Bello’s house to arrest him over allegations of money laundering and financial misconduct while in office.

The Nigeria Police Force has yet to release an official statement regarding the arrests, but police sources say the officers could face charges related to obstruction of justice or conspiracy to hinder a law enforcement operation.

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Zamfara govt suspends commandant state security outfit over allegations of poor funding

The Zamfara State Government has suspended the Commandant of the local security outfit, Community Protection Guards, CPG, Colonel Rabiu Garba (retd).

This is contained in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mallam Abubakar Nakwadahe and made available to newsmen in Gusau, the State capital.

The statement said in part, “This is to inform the general public that, Zamfara State government has suspended Colonel Rabiu Garba as Commandant of the state Community Protection Guards”.

“The suspension takes immediate effect”.

According to DAILY POST no reason for his suspension was given but it was gathered that the suspension may not be unconnected with the radio live program he granted where he accused the state government of poor funding of the Community Protection Guards.

In a radio live program at the Vision FM radio Gusau, Colonel Garba said the state government has failed to give financial support to the Protection Guards.

He lamented that since their inauguration, the state government has not provided them with any takeoff grant.

Garba also said the officials of the protection guards were paid their salary only once since they were appointed four months ago.

He said members of the Community Protection Guards have been suffering from poor funding from the state government, a situation which he said has been crippling their activities in the fight against banditry.

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