Ibadan Court Jails Three For Internet Fraud
From Dele Ogunyemi, Ibadan
Three persons were on Thursday found guilty of criminal impersonation by the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division, and sentenced to prison terms.
The trio – Augustine Ekeson, Obinna Ureahi Ifeanyi and Osho Olalekan Micheal – were convicted in cases filed against them by the Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Justice Patricia Ajoku, after considering the facts of an amended one-count charge against Obinna and Ifeanyi, pronounced them guilty and sentenced them to two years imprisonment each.
The duo had earlier been arraigned on a three-count charge based on the allegations raised against them in a petition received from one Mobolade Dele Akinbuluma, a Doctoral student of the University of Ibadan.
Akinbuluma alleged that the accused hacked into her email account to misrepresent themselves as staff of a Kenyan university where she was to undertake a study as part of her doctorate programme.
She was, in the process, defrauded of N875,490 (Eight hundred and seventy five thousand four hundred and ninety Naira). The duo pleaded not-guilty to the charge, but later approached the EFCC for a plea bargain.
Following an agreement on the terms of the plea bargain, they were re-arraigned on Thursday, on a one-count amended charge.The latest charge read: “That you Augustine Ekeson M and Obinna Ureahl Ifeanyi on or about the 3rd of December 2015, at Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court did conspire amongst yourself to commit felony to wit: fraudulently impersonated one Mrs. Lillian Igweta, a secretary to Professor Torto with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1) (b) of the cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22(4) of the same Act”.
They pleaded guilty to the charge, prompting a prayer by the EFCC counsel, Ifeanyi Agwu, for their conviction.The presiding judge accordingly sentenced them to two years imprisonment each.
Meanwhile, Justice Joyce Abdulmalik, equally of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, also jailed Osho on Thursday for an internet-related offence.
Osho was found guilty of falsely representing himself to be an American citizen named Jack, using same to defraud one Maria.He was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to make restitution of $200 (two hundred United States Dollars) to his victim. The jail term takes effect from April 3, 2019, day he was arrested.He is also to forfeit to the Federal Government of Nigeria items recovered from him in the course of investigation.
Bloody Weekend as Gunmen Kill 40 in Sokoto, Zamfara Attacks
It was bloody weekend in the two northern states of Sokoto and Zamfara, as no fewer than 40 people had their lives violently terminated by blood sucking gunmen and bandits.
The Sokoto State Police Command, yesterday confirmed the death of 30 persons during an attack lunched by group of armed men in Tangaza Local Government Area of the state, while 10 others were killed in Zamfara on Friday.
A statement issued by ASP Ahmad Rufai, the Acting Spokesman of the command, revealed that the gunmen attacked Raka, Bilingawa, Raka Dutse, Jaba, Dabagi and Tsalewa villages of the LGA on Saturday.
According to Rufai, prior to the attack, some members of a vigilante group had gone to Azam village to warn the Fulani community there.
“However, the vigilante members over reacted and ended up beating some villagers who are predominantly Fulani tribe.
“Consequently the villagers called for assistance, and unfortunately the assistance came from armed men suspected to be bandits on board 20 motorcycles.
“On getting the information that assistance is coming the vigilante members withdrew to their various villages,” he said.
The spokesman added that the armed men immediately went after the vigilante members and killed eight people in Raka, seven in Bilingawa, six in Jaba, four in Dabagi, three in Raka Dutse and two in Tsalewa Villages.
He further said that the attackers set two vehicles ablaze and six huts, while one Bajaj motorcycle believed to be that of the armed men was recovered at the scene.
The spokesman also confirmed another attack on Saturday by suspected bandits on some villages in Gwadabawa LGA, eastern part of Sokoto state.
Similarly, bandits, on Saturday attacked Sakiddar Magaji and Janbako communities of the Maradun Local Government Area in Zamfara State, killing no fewer than 10 persons.
Sources from the Janbako community confirmed the tragic incident to Channels Television on Sunday, saying that several others sustained various injuries.
In reaction to the latest attack, the Zamfara State Governor, Dauda Lawal condemned the attack on the two communities in the Maradun local government area of the state.
He described the attack as barbaric and unprovoked aggression against innocent people, adding that his administration will not fold its arms and allow criminal elements to unleash terror without repercussions.
“The unfortunate incident came at a time when his government is working hard toward strategizing on how to bring an end to the protracted security problem in the state,” Lawal said in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mustapha Jafaru.
“A directive has been issued to the Heads of security Agencies in the state to as a matter of urgency deploy more security personnel to the affected communities to forestall further destruction of lives and properties in the area.”
While condoling with the families of those that lost their loved ones, the governor sympathized with the people injured in the attack and prayed to God to grant rest to those who lost their lives.
Similarly, the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have killed five terrorists that perpetrated the attacks on the communities.
A top military source in the state told Channels Television that the troops deployed at Forward Operating Base Bakura while on Patrol received credible information of armed bandits’ attack on Rogoji village in Bakura Local Government Area and Sakiddar Magaji village of Janbako district in Maradun local government area of the state.
“On arrival at the village, bandits fled on sighting troops advance, consequently, troops went on pursuit after the bandits with a heavy volume of fire and in the process, five bandits were neutralised,” the source said.
Troops recovered two AK-47 rifles, ammunition, unconfirmed number rustled of Cattle, goats and donkeys.
Kidnap Catholic Priest in Anambra
Gunmen operating in Anambra State have kidnapped a priest of the Nnewi Catholic Diocese, Rev Fr Stanislaus Mbamara.
The young priest was kidnapped on Friday evening while driving from Awka, the state capital, to Nnewi, where he serves.
The Catholic Diocese of Nnewi disclosed the development in a statement where it called for prayers for the priest, expressing hope that he would come out safe.
The statement signed by the Chancellor, Fr. Raphael Ezeogu, said the priest was also a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, which meant he was probably returning to Nnewi after the week’s lecture.
“Our priest, Rev. Fr. Stanislaus Mbamara, a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, was kidnapped yesterday (Friday) evening, on his way from Awka to Nnewi.
“Let’s storm heaven with humble and insistent prayers for his quick release in sound health of mind and body. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Help of Christians, pray with and for us,” Ezeogu said.
No mention was made by the diocese of having been contacted by the kidnappers, nor were details of his abduction made known.
The Anambra State Police Command had yet to react to the kidnapping of the priest at the time of filing this report.
Attack Two Ebonyi Communities
The Police Command in Ebonyi State has confirmed an attack on two communities in the state by suspected gunmen on Friday night.
SP Onome Onovewakpoyeya, Police Public Relations Officer in the state, confirmed the incident on Saturday in Abakaliki.
Onovwakpoyeya said the police had commenced an investigation to unravel those behind the attacks.
She said that the communities affected by the attack were Uburu and Okposi in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state.
“The command is aware of the attack and an investigation has commenced in order to arrest the suspects.
“A Sienna car and two other vehicles were burnt. A passer-by was shot in the shoulder and is receiving treatment at the hospital,” she explained. (NAN)
Security Operatives Kill One, Disperse Protesting Youths at Conoil offshore platform in Bayelsa
From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa
A supposedly peaceful protest by youths of Sangana community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa state turned sorrowful following the shooting at a boat conveying the protesters to an oilfield operated by Conoil in the area.
It was learnt that Ikiowori Benson, one youth, hit by the gunshot lost his life, while two persons in the team of community youths were still missing and others critically injured after the incident reportedly happened on Monday.
Armed security personnel attached to the offshore facility christened “Antie Julie”, within 0ML 59 operated by Conoil, opened fire on the youths when they approached the facility to demand the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Conoil and Sangana.
Reacting to the incident, Ambrose Timipre-Ayah, the youth leader of Sangana said that he and 10 other youths from the community approached the Conoil facility unarmed, with the sole aim of registering their displeasure with the company.
He said he was shocked when the armed security operatives opened fire on them, killing one person instantly. He said two persons were missing and two others receiving treatment at Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa.
Also, Rueben Preboye, the Community Development Committee (CDC) Chairman of Sangana, noted that while Conoil has been operating in the community for about 25 years, the company has been delaying the implementation of the MoU.
According to him, the MoU lasts for three years subject to renewal, noting that the 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2022 MoUs have not been implemented and accumulated over 300million naira and 420-million-naira worth of projects.
The Sangana CDC chairman said he had the same issue with Conoil when he was the youth leader of the community in 2010.
However, when contacted, Mr. Richard Adebayo, the Community Relations Manager of Conoil declined to comment on the incident.
The spokesman of the joint military force deployed to protect facilities in the Niger Delta, Major Adenegan Ojo could not be reached by telephone and has yet to respond to sms requesting reaction.
It will be recalled that on Oct 31, 2021, a gas leak from a rig Adriatic-1 within the oilfield contaminated the environment in the community and attracted regulatory sanctions by the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency
Troops Destroy Illegal 47 Refineries, Apprehend 65 Suspects – DHQ
The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) have destroyed 47 illegal refining sites, and apprehended 65 suspected oil thieves and other criminals in the last two weeks.
The Director, Defence Media Operation, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the bi-weekly news conference on the operations of the armed forces.
Danmadami said the troops had sustained the tempo in the war against oil theft, illegal refineries and other criminal activities through aggressive raid, patrol as well as clearance operations amongst others.
He said the troops recovered 186,000 litres of crude oil, 42,750 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 4,500 litres of Premium Motor Spirit and 200 litres Dual Purpose Kerosine.
The spokesman said that 250 storage tanks, 220 ovens, 32 dugout pits, 31 wooden boats, one gas welding cylinder, and one pocking gas were recovered.
Others are two gas burners, two gas gauge, two adjustable spanners, one pumping machine and four outboards engines.
Danmadami said the troops also recovered 300 ammunitions, 15 AK47 magazines, 211 mobile phones, three vehicles, 100 wraps of suspected cannabis sativa, three and four pinches among others.
He said the troops had on May 18, raided a suspected criminals house at Ibaa community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers.
“All recovered items and apprehended suspected criminals have been handed over to the relevant authority for further action.
“Equally, it is worthy to mention that a total of N604.4 million was denied the oil thieves.
“The air component on May 18, conducted air interdiction operation at Krakrama active with illegal refining activities.
“Accordingly, the location was struck, with several illegal refined products and equipment destroyed in the air strike,” he said.
In the South East, Danmadami said the troops of Operation UDO KA continued to clamp down on the Indigenous People of Biafra, Eastern Security Network terrorist and other criminalities in the zone.
He said the troops neutralised five terrorists and apprehended nine suspects, as well as recovered several arms, ammunition and other items during the period.
In the South West, he said the troops of Operation AWATSE apprehended 26 suspected criminals and recovered one locally made pistol, three cartridges, 280gm of tramadol and two bottles of codeine. (NAN)
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