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EFCC arraigns 11 varsity students for internet fraud


‘Frivolous Judgements’ responsible for losses in high profile cases

Eleven students from Obafemi Awolowo University found themselves in court as the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned them before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court in Osogbo, Osun State.

They face charges related to their alleged involvement in internet fraud, commonly known as “Yahoo Yahoo.”

According to a statement by Dele Oyewale, the head of media and publicity at EFCC, the defendants faced various counts, ranging from one to six charges, as filed by the EFCC.

The accused students are; Perekebena Olombeni Micah, Nnekwelugo Nnaemeka, Moyosore Favour Oluwasakin, Aghwaritoma Wisdom Obaro, Daniel Olashile Maiye, Gbolahan Khalid Adesina, Yinka Temitope Jayeola, Olumuyiwa Emmanuel Adeleye, Abiola Emmanuel Oluwadare, Busari Abdulazeez Ayodeji, and Okesipe Tobiloba Paul.

Nine of the defendants faced one-count charges, while Micah and Obaro faced six-count charges each.

One of the charges reads: “That you, Perekebena Olombeni Micah sometime in 2023 in Osogbo, Osun State, fraudulently impersonated the name ‘Pies’ through your WhatsApp account phone number +1(414)367-9473 by claiming that you are an American Female in love with your victims in the United States of America with the intent to gain an advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015.”

Another count states: “That you, Aghwaritoma Wisdom Obaro on or about 1st November, 2023 at Ile-Ife, Osun State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently impersonated by representing yourself to be a white man by name Alex Stephens from the United States of America to one Megan Johnson, through your Google Chat and your email address ([email protected]) with intent to gain an advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015.”

Upon their arraignment, all the defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

The prosecution counsel, Oluwatoyin Owodunni, requested trial dates and the remand of the defendants in a Correctional Center.

In response, the defense counsels for Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Micah, Adeleye, and Okesipe informed the court of “motions for bail applications” filed on behalf of their clients, which had been served on the prosecution. They urged the court to grant bail to the six defendants.

Justice Ayo-Emmanuel, after considering both parties’ requests, granted bail to Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Micah, Adeleye, and Okesipe. Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Adeleye, and Okesipe were granted bail in the sum of Two Million Naira each, while Micah received bail in the sum of Three Million Naira.

The bail conditions included two sureties in the same amount. The first surety must be the defendant’s father or mother, and the second surety must be a relative, sibling, clergy, or civil servant with the Osun State Government.

The sureties were required to provide their addresses and means of verification to the court registrar.

The judge adjourned the matters to November 29 and December 12, 2023, for the commencement of the trial.

The defendants were remanded at the Ilesha Correctional Center, Osun State, pending the fulfillment of their bail conditions.

These students were among the 69 suspected internet fraudsters arrested on November 1, 2023, at the Oduduwa Estate area of Ile-Ife in Osun State, following actionable intelligence on their alleged involvement in fraudulent internet-related activities.