Wale Oyewole, Ibadan
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibadan zonal office, on Wednesday arrested a 33-year-old landlord, Stanley Awam, for allegedly harbouring suspected Internet fraudsters in his house.
Awam and 10 suspected Internet fraudsters were picked up in different locations in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, following intelligence on their alleged illegal activities.
The commission said the arrest was a daunting task as Awam’s six-flat property was at an isolated environment in the Ologuneru area of the city.
Nine of the suspects and the landlord were arrested on the premises of the house.
The suspected Internet fraudsters are Henry Echefu, Usman Mustapha, Adeleke David, Olafuyi Josiah, Shorefire Ayokunmi, Riliwan Ajao, Abulsalam Abubakar and Lukman Salam.
In a related development, the EFCC operatives arrested two other suspected Internet fraudsters, Adeyemo Muktarh and Bashir Mohammed, in the Eleyele and Old Bodija areas of Ibadan on Wednesday.
The acting Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Tony Orilade, said, “Further investigations on the suspects are ongoing.
“The indicted persons will be charged as soon as possible. Items recovered from them include three exotic cars, laptops, mobile phones and land documents.”
The commission said it was also prosecuting one Ebenezer Okunlola on three counts bordering on impersonation, possession of scam documents and obtaining money by false pretences.
Okunlola, who claimed to be a 300-level student of the National Open University of Nigeria, was arraigned before Justice Peter Odo Lifu of the Federal High Court 2 sitting in Osogbo, Osun State.
One of the charges read that Okunlola, sometime in 2019 in Osogbo, obtained iTunes gift cards worth $750 from one Kimmy Antley, an American.
The suspect was said to have falsely represented himself as a white man named Ryan Dudely.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
The prosecution counsel, Murtala Usman, asked the court for a trial date and an order to remand the accused person in a correctional centre pending the determination of the matter.
However, the defence counsel, M. O. Ademola, prayed the court to admit his client to bail pending the determination of the charges against him.
The presiding judge granted him bail in the sum of N10m and one surety in like sum.
The surety, the judge held, must be a civil servant residing within the jurisdiction of the court and must also be a land owner and related by blood to the defendant.
The judge ordered that the accused person be remanded in a correctional centre pending when he would meet the bail conditions.
Justice Lifu adjourned the matter till February 6, 2020.