By Dipo Olowookere
No fewer than 24 suspected internet fraudsters popularly known as Yahoo Boys have been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The suspects are students of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, and the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
Ten of the defendants which include: Agboola Taiwo, Adetayo Tade Ademiluyi, Rabiu Daniel, Sokoya Oluwaseyi, Fredrick Shaibu, Oshikoya Gbolahan, Adegbola Kazeem Aina, Ademosun Opeyemi, Tosin Awobona and Babarinde Jacob were arraigned Monday, December 10, 2018 before Justice Ibrahim Watilat of the Federal High Court 2 sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Fourteen others, comprising Adeleke Oluwamayowa, Banjo Femi, Towolawi Olanrewaju, Tijani Babatunde, Sarafadeen Abibullahi, Adebowale Abimbola, Osunkoya Korede, Mufutau Yusuf Akorede, Salisu Ajibola, Olamikan Oluwasiji, Oduwole Gbenga, Damilare Adelaja, Bakare Azeez Adebola and Edward Ayodeji were arraigned on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 before Justice M. S. Abubakar of the Federal High Court 1 sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The defendants were all arraigned on separate charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretences, impersonation and possession of fraudulent documents.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.
One of the charges against one of the accused persons reads: “That you, Rabiu Daniel (a.K.a. Agent Howard Hall) on 23rd June, 2018 at Abeokuta within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, knowingly had in your possession documents containing false pretences to wit: an e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org wherein you represented yourself as; Agent Howard Hall, working for the Government/Facebook Compensation Bonus and Poverty Eradication, and other false pretences, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6, and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006”.
Another charge reads: “That you Adegbola Kazeem Aina (a.K.a. Marry Linson) sometimes in 2018, at Abeokuta within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $350 (Three Hundred and Fifty United State of American Dollars) from David Davis, a United State of American Citizen when you falsely represented that you are a woman (Marry Linson), which money you use to collect through Itunes Gift Card and sell them in Naira through AFRBTC.Com, which representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1)(a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006”.
While Six out of the first ten defendants earlier arraigned were granted bail immediately on varying conditions, four of them were denied bail. However, the other fourteen defendants were all granted bail also on varying conditions.
All the defendants were remanded in prison custody at Abeokuta pending the perfection of their bail conditions. While the cases of the first 10 were adjourned to January 28, 2019 for trial, the cases of the 14 were adjourned till 5th, 6th, 7th and 12th of February, 2019 for trial. The journey to the dock for the suspect began when the EFCC got wind of their activities through series of intelligence alleging that the suspected fraudsters engaged in fraudulent activities of obtaining money by false pretences through sending emails to unsuspecting victims mostly in the United States of America while others were engaged in romance scam on several dating sites.
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