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Oyo and Ogun courts jail 16 internet fraudsters

Justices A.L. Akintola, O.A. Lajide, O.A. Adetujoye of the Oyo State High Court, sitting in Ibadan; Justice  B.B. Adebowale of the Ogun State High Court, Abeokuta and Justice Uche Agomoh of the Federal High Court, Ibadan have convicted and sentenced sixteen (16) internet fraudsters to different jail terms.

The convicts were jailed after pleading guilty to one- count separate charges upon their arraignment by the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

They are: Arode Opeyemi Amos, Babatunde Emmanuel Babalola, Oyewole Ayomilekan, Ephraim Isaiah Jonah, Ayedun Ayobami Adelani, Amusa Aminat Odunmide, Raji Eniola Al-Ameen, Ogundeyi Faruk Olamilekan, Abdullahi Adeshina Rasaq, Azeez Oluwaseun Bamidele, Moruf Olamilekan Elegbede, Olabisi Ibrahim Olamilekan, Jolaosho Uthman Olamilekan, Amod Kazeem Olayemi, Idemudia Lucky Edohamhem and Isogun Olamitan Nelson.

The charge against Nelson reads: “That you, Isogun Olamitan Nelson on or about 24th July, 2023, at Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, aided internet fraudsters; Victor Effiong, Opeyemi, Victor Pelumi and others by redeeming fraudulent gift cards and designing false documents and waybills to aid their internet fraud, thereby committed an offence of Aiding another person in committing an offence contrary to Section 7 (c) and 484 of the Criminal Code Law Cap 30, Laws of Oyo State.”

Upon their guilty pleas, the facts of the cases were reviewed and incriminating documents tendered in evidence before the courts, following which prosecuting counsel, Oyelakin Oyediran, C.A. Okoli, S.M. Galadanchi, Mabas Mabur, Umar Abiso and shamsuddeen Bashir prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

After listening to all counsels, Justice Agomoh convicted and sentenced Odunmide and Adelani to one year imprisonment each without an option of fine. The latter was ordered to pay the sum of $800 (Eight Hundred Dollars) as restitution while Odunmide was to restitute his victim with the sum of N3.8million (Three Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira).

Also, Justice Lajide convicted and sentenced Ayomilekan and Nelson to six months community service each. Ayomilekan was ordered to pay the sum of N500, 000.00K (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) and Nelson to pay N10, 000.00K (Ten Thousand Naira) as fines alongside their jail terms respectively.

Furthermore, Justice Akintola convicted and sentenced Amos and Babalola to one year imprisonment each, he however gave Babalola an option of N250, 000.00K (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) fine, ordered him to pay the sum of $1,950 (One Hundred and Ninety-five Thousand Dollars) as restitution and forfeit one black colour Toyota Venza car with chassis number: 4T3BK3BB4AV044681 and registration number: NANS while Amos was given an option of N20, 000.00K (Twenty Thousand Naira) fine.

Also, Justice Akintola convicted and sentenced Al-Ameen, Ibrahim Olamilekan, Uthman Olamilekan and Olayemi to three months community service each and Jonah to six months community service with an option of N50, 000.00K (Fifty Thousand Naira) fine, but Al-Ameen was ordered to pay the sum of N40, 000.00K (Forty Thousand Naira), Ibrahim Olamilekan, Uthman Olamilekan and Olayemi to pay N50, 000.00K (Fifty Thousand Naira) as fine alongside their jail terms respectively.

Ibrahim Olamilekan forfeited one grey Toyota Camry with registration number: KTU 822 GU, Uthman Olamilekan forfeited one silver colour Lexus RX 350 SUV with chassis number: 2T2BK1BA9BC115389 and registration number: BWR 100 BT while Olayemi forfeited one grey colour Toyota Corolla with registration number: APP 121 HZ with chassis number: 5YFBU4EE7DP126845 respectively.

Also, Justice Adetujoye convicted, cautioned and discharged Faruk Olamilekan, Rasaq, Bamidele and Edohamhem while Elegbede was convicted and sentenced to one month community service by Justice Adebowale.

The judges further ordered the convicts to forfeit all devices recovered from them being proceeds of crime to the Federal Government.

The convicts began their journey to the Correctional Centre when they were arrested by operatives of the Ibadan Zonal Command of the EFCC at various locations in Oyo and Ogun states.  They were later investigated and charged to court.

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Court dismisses Fmr Anambra Gov, Obiano’s bid to stop trial in N40bn fraud charges

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the application by a former Anambra State Governor, Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, which sought to quash the N40 billion money laundering charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

The Judge, in a ruling delivered on Thursday, faulted and rejected all grounds upon which the application was predicated by Obiano.

The former governor had, among others, prayed the Judge to dismiss the 9-count charges instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on behalf of the Federal Government.

He claimed that there was no connection between the proof of evidence supplied to the court by the EFCC and the accusations against him.

He averred that there was no testimony from any witness indicating that he issued directives for the disbursement of security votes and other funds belonging to the Anambra State Government.

Obiano also claimed that he could not be held accountable for any alleged unlawful actions by officials of the Anambra State Government as there is no concept of vicarious liability in the criminal justice system.

His motion on notice was brought pursuant to Section 6(6)(a) and (b) and Section 36(6)(b) of the 1999 constitution as amended and Section 1(1) & (2), 266, 271(b), 383(4) &492 (3) of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2015.

Among others, Obiano sought “An order of the court quashing the instant charge for it amounts to flagrant abuse of judicial process and a mockery of the criminal Justice

“An order quashing the charge for non-disclosure of a prime facie case being vague and devoid of precision in respect of all the 9 count charges.

“No prima facie case has been disclosed against the defendant in this charge. There is no link between the proof of evidence and the purported allegation made against the defendant in the charge

“No evidence exists from any witness showing that the defendant passed down a directive for the disbursement of security votes and other funds belonging to Anambra State government.

“The defendant cannot be made answerable for any purported unlawful actions of officials of Anambra State government as there is no vicarious liability in our criminal jurisprudence.

“The thinking and conclusion of the prosecution on the counts arose from speculation and suspicions.

“The subject matter of the charge borders on accountability for security vote funds.
The honourable court lacks the requisite jurisdiction to entertain issues on accountability for security vote funds

“There is an appeal filed by the Anambra state government challenging the powers of EFCC to investigate the security vote of Anambra state government.

“The preferment of the entire charge is in bad faith. This honourable court has inherent judicial power to grant all the reliefs sought above.”

But in the ruling, Justice Ekwo held that all the reliefs sought by Obiano are not grantable because they are premature and lacking in merit.

The Judge said there is no way the court would know whether the former governor is linked with the alleged offences or not unless the trial is conducted in line with the provisions of the law.

The former governor is being prosecuted by EFCC on 9-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N40 billion.

Meanwhile, the Judge has fixed June 24, 25, 26 and 27 for full blown trial of the charges.

In the same vein, Justice Ekwo permitted Obiano 60 days to travel abroad for medical treatment.

The Judge ordered that Obiano be made to sign an undertaking to return to the country after the treatment and to deposit his travelling passport within three days of his return to Nigeria.

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Oyebanji, Fayemi, NASS members, APC leaders eulogize Omotosho at commendation service

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji on Wednesday led former Governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, National and State Assembly members, members of the State Executive Council, Party leaders and other prominent personalities to pay glowing tributes to the late APC Chairman, Barrister Paul Omotosho at a special commendation service organized by the state government in Ado-Ekiti.

Omotosho, who died on March 5th, after a brief illness, was, until his death, Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Ekiti State Chapter.

“You will not walk alone. I shall stand by you. The Government and the party will stand by you”, Governor Oyebanji assured the children and wives of the late Omotosho during his emotion – laden speech at the special tribute session held at Adetiloye Hall, Trade Fair Complex, Ado- Ekiti.

The commendation service had in attendance former Governor Kayode Fayemi (who was represented by former Attorney General in the State, Mr Wale Fapounda, SAN; the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Monisade Afuye, Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Adeoye Aribasoye, and three former deputy Governors- Prof Modupe Adelabu; Surv. Abiodun Aluko and Chief Wole Alabi as well as members of the Ekiti State Caucus in the National Assembly.

Oyebanji described the late Chairman as a committed, loyal, and party leader whose selflessness and sacrifices contributed immensely to the growth and development of the party and the state at large.

The Governor maintained that the late omotosho was a true friend, a burden bearer, confidant and a devoted community leader, adding that his demise has left a great vacuum within the party, the state and the nation at large.

While assuring the family that his government will continue to support them and stand in the gap of their father, the Governor said he is consoled with the fact that the deceased lived a fulfilled life and left an indelible mark in the development of the state.

“To me personally, I have lost a true friend, I’ve lost a confidant, I’ve lost a brother, a burden bearer and a soul mate. The truth of the matter is not how far but how well, Mr. Continuity left at his own time, I believe strongly that it was his own time to go. We don’t like it, and it is painful because death did not give us a chance to even try to save him.

“I know we are not happy about this and it is a trying moment for us as a party, as a state and as a government, but one thing I know is there is God in heaven who sees the affairs of men. To the children, to the family, as long as i am on this seat as the Governor of this state, you will not walk alone. That’s the assurance I am going to give you”. The Governor asserted.

In his on tribute, the immediate past Governor of the state, Dr. Fayemi, whose tribute was read by Barrister Wale Fapounda, described the late Omotosho as a dedicated leader, a unifier, and a pillar of the party in the state.

Dr Fayemi explained that the deceased was a tireless leader and a steadfast supporter of the party’s principle who ensured that under his watch the party achieved significant victories in recent elections and gained the trust of Ekiti people.

While calling on the APC members in the state to remain resolute in making the deceased proud by carrying on with his legacies of integrity, the former Governor maintained that Omotosho’s contributions and sacrifices for the party will never be forgotten.

Other speakers at the evening of tributes include Mrs. Fola Richie, who spoke on behalf of the state executive council members (2010 – 2014), where the late Omotosho served as as State Commissioner; Chief Bayo Idowu, on behalf of Afenifere; Dr Dele Ebunola, who spoke on behalf of Social Democratic Party (SDP); Prof Mobolaji Aluko, on behalf of the state executive council; Hon Sola Elesin, on behalf of APC, Ekiti State chapter; Rt. Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye, on behalf the State House of Assembly, and Senator Yemi Adaramodu, who spoke on behalf of National Assembly members.

Others were Chief Jide Awe, who spoke on behalf of APC elders; Chief (Mrs) Ronke Okusanya, on behalf of Women in Politics; and Mr Ojo Oluwasegun Samuel, who spoke on behalf of local government chairmen.

They all eulogized the late Omotosho as a man of integrity and a truly honest and hard working politician and public servant, who was selfless and result- oriented.

A pall of silence descended on the Adetiloye Hall, venue of the event during the viewing of a documentary detailing the life and times of the late Omotosho was shown the audience. Many wept profusely after the documentary which preceded a short sermon and prayer of the family of the deceased.

Barrister Paul Omotosho who died on March 5th would be buried in his home town, Imesi Ekiti on Friday.

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Alleged N84bn fraud: Yahaya Bello’s absence stalls arraignment

The immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello was absent at the Federal High Court Abuja on Thursday.

The former governor was to be arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC over alleged money laundering offence involving N84 billion.

Counsel for the EFCC, Kemi Phinro, earlier told the court that Bello was absent from court for his arraignment because he was being protected by someone with immunity.

Justice Emeka Nwite subsequently adjourned the suit to to April 23rd.

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