By Gom Mirian, Abuja
Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo has convicted and sentenced a notorious international fraudster, Scales Olatunji, to 235years imprisonment for internet fraud and money laundering.
Olatunji was arraigned on July 2, 2019 on 45-count charges bordering on identity theft, money laundering and conspiracy.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, thus setting the stage for his trial.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Scales Olatunji Ishola “M”, Meraiyebu Charles “M”(at large), Gabriel Adeyemi Olugbenga “M”(at large), Ojomo Oluwatobi Ayodele “M”(at large) and Adekola Oluwatoyin “M”(at large), between January 2017 to October 2018, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court conspired among yourselves to convert the total sum of N525,172,580. 00 (Five Hundred and Twenty Five Million, One Hundred and Seventy-two Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty Naira) only, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activities to wit: fraud (Business E-mail Compromise and Identity Theft), and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”
Another count reads: “That you, Scales Olatunji Ishola “M” on or about the 15th day of May 2018, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did send electronic messages (email) using email@example.com to one Monica Goulmoen of the Charity Association for providing girls and boys in Kobane with a football pitch, while impersonating a certain Per Ravn Omdal, a former Norwegian Football Association President, demanding the sum of €64,000.00 (Sixty-Four Thousand Euros) to be transferred to you via IBAN GB74HBUK40062132722119 which was paid and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (3)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act”.
EFCC counsel, Nwandu Ukoha opened the case on November 7, 2019 and subsequently tendered 35 exhibits through four prosecution witnesses, which were all admitted in evidence against the defendant.
Delivering judgment on Monday, June 27, 2022, Justice Okeke convicted Olatunji on all the 45- counts preferred against him by the EFCC. He sentenced Olatunji to seven years imprisonment on counts one to five, and five years imprisonment on counts six to 45. The sentence, shall, however, run concurrently with effect from the date of arrest.
The court also ordered that the money in the convict’s account be forfeited to Norwegian citizens through the EFCC. Also, his properties: House No. 6, located on Road 2 West-end Estate, Ikota, Lekki, Lagos State and House No. 10, Donatus Odum Street, Ikate, Lagos State are to be sold by the EFCC and the proceeds restituted to the Norwegian victims.
The convict’s journey to the Correctional Centre started when operatives of the EFCC arrested him on March 20, 2019at his Ikota , Lekki’s residence based on a petition from the Oslo Police District in Norway, requesting the assistance of the EFCC in investigating a network of Nigerians that had defrauded Norwegian citizens for years.
Investigations revealed that the convict belonged to a syndicate of internet fraudsters who specialized in Business Email Compromise-BEC.
Police Investigate Rape of One-year-old Baby, Murder of Minor in Bauchi
The Police Command in Bauchi State has commenced investigation into the rape of an 18-month-old baby and murder of a 13-year-old girl in the state
A statement by the Spokesman of the command, SP Ahmed Wakil on Saturday in Bauchi, said a 59-year-old man has been arrested in respect of the rape.
He added that two suspects were also arrested for allegedly conspiring to kill the 13-year-old girl.
Wakil said that the mother of the baby, Nenkat Danladi, reported the rape case to Yelwa police station on Aug. 8.
The mother told the police that she met the suspect on her bed with her daughter at about 11:30 pm.
“After about 30 minutes, the nominal complainant discovered that the private part of her daughter was oozing blood.
“A team of personnel led by DPO Yelwa rushed the victim to ATBU Teaching Hospital Bauchi for medical examination.The suspect was arrested and an investigation has commenced in earnest,” he said.
On the 13-year-old girl who was found dead and her corpse burnt, the command spokesman said her father, Alhaji Danladi Mohammed of Mai’ari Arewa village, reported her disappearance to the Divisional Police Headquarters Alkaleri, on Aug. 4.
Wakil said that the complainant also mentioned two people he suspected might have a hand in the disappearance of the girl.
He said that the suspects were subsequently arrested and had allegedly confessed to the crime.
According to him, on interrogation, the principal suspect confessed that the missing girl was his girlfriend and was four-months pregnant.
The police spokesperson said the suspect further revealed that he conspired with the mother of the missing girl and his accomplice and took the victim to Gombe to procure an abortion.
He said that while in Gombe, they were assisted by a 50-year-old woman living in Jekada Fari area, where the victim was administered with some substances to cause miscarriage.
“Eventually on their way to Mai’ari village along Akko LGA Gombe State, the two aforementioned suspects strangulated the victim, consequently, the victim fell unconscious and gave up the ghost.
“In the same vein, burnt the body of the victim beyond recognition and buried her in a shallow grave at a nearby bush in Akko LGA, Gombe state.
“On the strength of that, preliminary investigation commenced; the scene was visited by DPO Alkaleri who evacuated the victim to General Hospital Alkaleri, where she was certified dead by a medical doctor,” he said.
Wakil said that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Umar Sanda, had directed that the two cases be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for thorough investigation.
Sanda said police would remain relentless in ensuring the safety and security of lives and property, and assured that the public will be updated as the investigation unfolds. (NAN)
EFCC Arrests 2 clerics, 5 others for Alleged Cyber Crime
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Command, has arrested seven suspected internet fraudsters in Ilorin.
A statement signed by the EFCC Spokesperson, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, on Saturday, said that the seven suspects were arrested at a hotel close to a popular mall in Ilorin.
He said that among the suspects were two clerics and a serving corps member.
The spokesperson said preliminary investigations revealed that the two clerics were hired and lodged in the hotel to offer spiritual help to some of the arrested suspects.
Uwujaren further said that the suspects, who had volunteered useful information, would be charged to court on conclusion of investigation.
He said that the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa has enjoined youths to make hardwork their watchword and shun corruption, as “Yahoo-Yahoo’ is not a sustainable way of life”.
“The fact that the rate of unemployment is high should not be an excuse to resort to crimes.
“Acts of criminality may deliver wealth in the short term, but ultimately there will be misery and gnashing of teeth”, Bawa was qouted as saying.
He assured that the Commission would spare no efforts towards ensuring a corrupt-free Nigeria.(NAN)
Man Burnt to Ashes in Kogi Over Alleged Kidnapping Activities
From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
A 55 – year man was burnt to ashes by an angered group in Okene over accusation of abducting children through diabolic means.
It was gathered that the mob paraded the man on the streets at Okengwe axis of Okene local government area before burning him to ashes.
Eye witness account said the group tied the man’s two hands and beat him seriously before dragging him to Okengwe, where he was set ablaze.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State, Abdulrazaq Muhammad has ordered the arrest of masterminds of the killing of the man suspected of having mental disorder.
A statement by the Council Chairman made available to DAILY ASSET on Tuesday, described the masterminds as criminals, who took the laws into their hands without allowing law enforcement agencies to handle the situation.
According to the statement, the chairman has directed security agencies to carry out investigation on the unfortunate incident, while the District Head of Okengwe, some ward heads and community leaders were invited to make statements for their negligence of responsibilities.
“However, preliminary investigations indicate that the information that led to the killing of the man was fake.
“Those behind the jungle justice will be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.
“Youths of Okene local government and the general public are hereby cautioned on the spread of fake news.
Residents are also advised to verify every security information and report same to government for appropriate action” the statement said.
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