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UK court jails six Nigerians for 10 million pounds fraud

 

Six London residents of Nigerian origin have been jailed in the United Kingdom for their role in a series of online scams that fetched them over £10 million.

The gang members who were convicted between 26 and 28 March for their roles in a large-scale “diversion fraud” scam using hacking software in which the fraud gang devised in swindling their victims.

This followed a six-month-long trial in the theft of millions of pounds from businesses and individuals in the UK and abroad.

According to the court sentence, the group had four males and two females who were of Nigerian origin.

“Bonaventure Sunday Chukwuka, 41 (21.08.77) of Roding Gardens, Loughton was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, and conspiracy to conceal/transfer criminal property (money laundering). He was also found guilty of possession of a prohibited item (a phone) in prison – sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment.

” Andrew Chike Chukwu, 35 (19.09.83) of River Road, Buckhurst Hill was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to conceal/transfer criminal property – sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

” Emmanuel Chike Chukwuka (brother), 27 (11.12.91) of Roding Gardens, Loughton was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud. He was found not guilty of conspiracy to money launder – sentenced to two years and eight months’ imprisonment.

” Christian Chukwuka (brother), 39 (24.12.79) of Latchetts Shaw, Basildon, Essex was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to conceal/transfer criminal property – sentenced to five years and nine months’ imprisonment.
” Queen Chukwuka, 32 (01.10.86) of Roding Gardens, Loughton was found guilty of acquiring/possessing criminal property – sentenced to a community order.

” Grace Plange Chukwu, 39 (20.02.80) of River Road, Buckhurst Hill was found guilty of acquiring/possessing criminal property – conditional discharge”, the judge said.

The criminals, however, met their waterloo after officers from the Met’s Falcon Fraud Squad launched the investigation following referrals received from Action Fraud, a service that allows both domestic and overseas victims to report fraud online sponsored by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

The detectives on the case identified a total of 228 separate frauds committed by the same network between 2014 to 2018, and totalling £10,112,312.54 as well as a total of 165 “mule” accounts, opened with fake identification documents or bought from unscrupulous account holders, were also identified by the detectives

If we’ve stolen, they should arrest us – Ajimobi

Abiola Ajimobi, governor of Oyo state, says he is ready for a probe of his administration.

He spoke on Thursday at a public lecture and fellowship investiture organised by Society for Peace Studies and Practice at the Subomi Balogun Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

The event was attended by members of the state executive council and some heads of security agencies.

“We will work till the last day of this administration. We don’t care about what some people are saying all about… As I am talking to you today, this administration still has 18 days and some hours to expire,” he said.

“When they get there, let them cancel all the contracts we have signed. Let them investigate us and if we have stolen, they should arrest us.”

In March, Seyi Makinde, the incoming governor, accused Ajimobi of awarding N30 billion worth of contracts in a single day.

He vowed to review all the contracts signed by the outgoing governor when he takes over.

But Ajimobi told his audience at Thursday’s programme that the achievements of his administration were anchored on a pyramid of development which included restoration, transformation and repositioning.

He said the pyramid of development gave birth to a new wave of developmental strides in education that led to the establishment of school’s governing board among other programmes.

“The SGB model led to a significant improvement in public schools students’ performance in public examinations. Today, we can boast of the best results in WASSCE in the last 18 years,’’ he said.

The governor said his administration also recorded giant strides in infrastructure, agriculture, health, industrialisation, technology and culture, adding that such would make his administration a “historical corner piece” for future reference in governance.

“We have given our best to the state and we will continue to do this. The feats recorded by our administration placed Oyo as one of the five safest havens of investment in the country,” he said.

“We are also the fourth investment-friendly state in Nigeria according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics; with a four-star rating for investment friendliness by the Nigerian Export Promotions Commission.”

Man beats his wife to death over sex

An Ebute Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State on Friday remanded one 31-year-old Godspower Johnson accused of beating his wife to death during a fight over sex.

Chief Magistrate O.O. Olatunji, ordered that Godspower should be kept at the Ikoyi Prison, Lagos, for the next 30 days pending advice from the state Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the case.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Insp. Oladele Adebayo, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on March 21, at 5.30p.m., at No. 28, Adekoye St., Igbo-Elerin, Ishashi.

He alleged that Johnson beat his wife, Deborah, aged 31, to death during a fight.

“The defendant wanted to make love to his wife, he inserted his two fingers into her private part which didn’t go down well with the deceased. A fight ensued leading the defendant to beat up his wife,” he said.

The prosecutor said that murder contravened the provisions of Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Section 223 stipulates death sentence for the offence.

Olatunji adjourned the case until June 7 for mention.

IGP to sanction superiors of trigger-happy SARS officers

Mohammed Adamu, inspector general of police, says supervisors of trigger-happy police officers will be held liable for the infractions of those under their command.

Adamu spoke during an interactive session with officers-in-charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), anti-kidnapping squad and other special units on Thursday.

The IGP issued the warning in respect of the recent killings by trigger-happy police officers.

SARS has been accused of indiscriminate killings on different occasions and Nigerians have repeatedly called for the disbandment of the unit.

Most recently, Kolade Johnson, a resident of the Mangoro area of Lagos, was killed in March by stray bullets fired by a SARS operative.

Adamu said the killings have caused Nigerians to lose trust and confidence in the security unit.

“It has become imperative to have this interactive session with you because of the need to address concerns on the rising rate of armed robberies, kidnappings, banditry and other violent crimes in the country,” Adamu said.

“Within this context, we must also address issues touching on the abuse of powers, misuse of firearms and other extra-judicial actions by personnel in your Units.

“Let me re-emphasise here, once again, that our primary responsibility is to protect the lives and property of the citizens we were engaged to serve. Indeed, these unprofessional actions have led to lack of confidence and trust in the police and this impact on our crime prevention capacity.

“Again, let me sound a note of warning here as I have done in various fora, that any officer that is involved in extra-judicial killing and abuse of power will be held accountable for his action and risks losing his job and facing criminal prosecution. Furthermore, you as the line supervisors of such erring officers shall be held vicariously liable for supervisory negligence be similarly sanctioned.”

The police recently released some tips for motorists to abide by when approaching a security checkpoint or when flagged-down by police officers in order to avoid problems.

EFCC arrests musician, Naira Marley

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly arrested Afeez Fashola, Nigerian singer better known as Naira Marley.

The ‘Japa’ singer was arrested in Lagos on May 10, which happened to be his birthday.

EFCC spokesman Tony Orilade confirmed that the musician was being held for alleged cyber crime offences along with some others.

Naira Marley has been in the news recently for advocating the cause of internet fraudsters.

During an Instagram live session in April, he had urged Nigerians to pray for internet fraudsters (Yahoo boys) “as they are crucial to the circulation of money in the economy.”

“All you guys, all the money in your pockets, all the money you spend, you think it’s the government that is making the money go round? You better sit down and pray for yahoo boys. If dem stop yahoo, the money would not pass you guys,” he said.

“The money will go like this, from Obasanjo to Tinubu, from Tinubu to Mr Japa, you think me I need Yahoo? I make money from my music.”

The comments had elicited various responses with Ruggedman saying “Bro, do not disrespect the black race and the enslaved by trying to justify cybercrime with slavery’.”

“If you have issues with slavery, start a movement and fight whoever you think owns slaves. Because, as far as I’m concerned, people who did died ages ago. Right now, you stealing people’s hard-earned money—both foreigners and Nigerians—does not justify yahoo-yahoo.

“I’m not stopping you from doing yahoo-yahoo if you want to do it. I have friends that do it, some are in jail for it. I’m not judging. But the thing is do not try to make it look good to young people because a crime remains a crime!”

On Thursday, the singer released the video of his single ‘Am I a Yahoo Boy?’.

Ganduje: Sanusi is supposed to report to LG chairman

Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano state, says Muhammadu Sanusi, emir of Kano, is supposed to be reporting to chairman of a local government.

Speaking with state house correspondents on the sidelines of the ongoing Progressive Governors Forum award ceremony at the presidential villa in Abuja, Ganduje said Sanusi was not the target of the break up of the emirate.

He said he decided to create four new emirates in the state in order to take Kano to the next level.

Some Nigerians had spoken against the action of the governor perceived to be political.

Two days before he gave assent to the bill to break up the emirate, there were reports that Ganduje was plotting to depose or whittle down Sanusi’s influence.

A government official had claimed that the governor was targetting the emir, who reportedly did not support his reelection bid.

But Ganduje told reporters that the interest of the society prompted the action.

“We are taking Kano to the next level and we need the active participation of the traditional system, especially in the areas of education, security, agriculture,” he said.

“By decentralising the emirate, we followed history. Years back, the situation was not that.

“So if something developed 800 years ago, things are also developing now and there will be another 800 years. So look at the history.

“So, it is not vendetta, I am not against him (Sanusi). In fact, he is supposed to be reporting to the local government chairman according to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“It is the local government chairman that is supposed to discuss issues with him, not the governor.”

The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission is currently probing the emirate under Sanusi which can lead to his deposition.

The commission had alleged the misappropriation of N6 billion by the Kano emirate council “without the approval of the state government”. The probe, which was halted in 2017, has now been revived.

Isa Bayero, a former official of the Kano emirate council, appeared before the commission on Thursday over payment of vouchers from 2013 to 2017.

He was asked to report back on Friday with some documents.

PDP asks Appeal Court president to quit presidential election tribunal

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Juatice Zainab Bulkachuwa, President of the Court of Appeal, to withdraw from the five-member panel of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

In a petition sent to her office, PDP said Bulkachuwa would likely be biased while handling the tribunal’s proceedings.

In the letter signed by Uche Secondus, national chairman of the party, and Umaru Tsauri, national secretary, the party said Bulkachuwa’s husband, Adamu Bulkachuwa, contested and won the Bauchi north senatorial district election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the February 23, 2019 poll.

“My Lord, it is no more a secret, that your dear husband, Hon. Adamu Mohammed Bulkachuwa, contested the February 23, 2019 election for the position of Senator in Bauchi North Senatorial district and won same on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the petition read.

“This information is not just in the public domain but has dominated both public and private discussions to the extent that it has become a sore source of worry not just for members of our party but to the generality of Nigerians because of your very unique and critical position as the President of the Court of Appeal which is saddled with the sacred responsibility of hearing petitions arising from the presidential election.

“This fear was palpable enough just with you as the President of the Court of Appeal but has now been worsened and compounded by the discovery that you have decided to appoint yourself as chairman of the Panel to hear the petition.

“Furthermore, My Lord, in your address at the opening of the pre-hearing, you made some remarks that were both frightening and heartwarming. For instance, in your opening paragraph you said: ‘Elections are held in Nigeria every four years into elective positions. No matter how well the election is conducted, there are bound to be complaints…’

“This remark rocked our confidence in a panel led by Your Lordship to determine our fate in an election which could be one of the ones that were very well ‘conducted’ in Your Lordship’s opinion. The question then is how can a petitioner convince Your Lordship otherwise over an election, which in Your Lordship’s opinion, was very well ‘conducted’?

“We are reasoning that, armed with this golden rule of justice and fair hearing and given your direct intimacy, through your dear husband, with the APC, one of the parties in this election petition, Your Lordship, would have exercised your constitutional right and powers guardedly, judiciously and judicially, by excluding yourself from the panel of this honourable court’s sitting over this particular petition.”

The party said it lacks confidence in  Bulkachuwa, saying it would be difficult to convince Nigerians that she is neutral.

“This is the only way you could have divested yourself from all forms of bias and be seen to be fair, both to yourself, our Party, that is contesting against your husband’s party in this petition, and indeed, all Nigerians, who are keenly in the just, transparently impartial and unbiased determination of this Petition over an election which outcome obviously did not respect their wishes as expressed through their votes,” the letter read.

“It is based on the above premises, therefore, that we are constrained to respectfully request Your Lordship to rescue yourself from presiding over and/or sitting as a member of the Panel hearing the instant Petition as it would be impossible for your lordship to convince any reasonable man that your dear husband never discussed this Petition, which he is patiently interested in its outcome with you, throughout the trial.”

CCT breached Onnoghen’s right to fair hearing, appeal court rules

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has ruled that the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) breached Walter Onnoghen’s, ex-chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), right to fair hearing when it ordered his suspension based on the false assets declaration charges filed against him at the tribunal.

President Muhammadu Buhari had suspended Onnoghen on January 25, citing an order from the CCT.

But in its ruling on Friday, a three-man bench led by Stephen Adah, held that the CCT’s ex parte order breached the ex-CJN’s right to fair hearing.

The CCT subsequently convicted Onnoghen on six counts bordering on false assets declaration.

The tribunal ordered that he should be removed from office and banned from holding public office for 10 years.

It also ordered the forfeiture of the money in the five accounts which the defendant was said to have failed to declared as part of his assets.

However, Onnoghen appealed the judgement based on 16 grounds.

He asked the appeal court to for an order declaring that the lower tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case.

Onnoghen also asked the appeal court for an order declaring that the tribunal ought to have recused itself from proceedings before it.

The appeal court is yet to give its final ruling on Onnoghen’s appeals.

Bandits’ logistics supplier, weapons manufacturer nabbed in Katsina

Troops on operation `Exercise Harbin Kunama III’’, have arrested a suspect the army described as “notorious’’ bandit logistics supplier, Marwana Abubakar in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Similarly, Army Spokesperson, Col. Sagir Musa said in a statement that  troops have also arrested a local weapons fabricator, Salisu Ibrahim during a raid on suspected facility at Kontagora in Kontagora Local Government Area of Niger.

On Wednesday, based on credible information, troops raided kidnappers’ hideout in Kaduna, killed two suspected bandits and recovered two AK 47 rifles and ammunition.

In a related development, Musa said troops of 6 Division on routine patrol discovered illegal refining sites at Oyakama community in Ahoada West LGA of Rivers and arrested two suspected oil thieves.

According to him, two pipeline vandals and illegal oil bunkerers were intercepted along Sapele-Warri road in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta and their vehicles destroyed.

Two pipelines vandals, he added, were arrested at Ogbagbene Jetty in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

Court affirms sack of law school staff over gross misconduct

The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Friday affirmed the dismissal of one Mr Odu Emmanuel, as Nigeria Law School Data processing officer.

Emmanuel was dismissed over his involvement in admission registration misconduct during the 2013/2014 admission exercise.

Justice Rakiya Haastrup, said that in determining the case, the court adopted the sole issue formulated by the claimant (Emmanuel), in his written address.

According to the judge, the issue was whether the claimant had through legal evidence established his case to entitle him to the reliefs sought from the court

Haastrup held that the claimant had in his written statement on oath admitted that he had come in contact with some candidates during the discharge of his duties.

The judge added that the claimant said some of those students had alleged that he had registered them fraudulently by generating fake posting slips which was used to facilitate their registrations.

She further added that contrary however, to the evidence of the claimant, one Miss Babafemi testified before the defendant’s panel that the claimant gave her a posting slip after her father had given the claimant the sum of N50,000.

Hasstrup further in the judgment said two other students had also testified against the claimant before the same panel that they gave the claimant N200,000 each and in return, he gave them posting slips.

The judge said further evidence from the defendant’s witness, one Mr Femi Afolayan, a director of the school was that the claimant duty was not related to online registration of students for admission exercise.

She said from the entire evidence, the defendant found the conduct of the claimant as an act of gross misconduct, she said ” the employer I think cannot be gagged from disciplining an erring employee, as the claimant in this case”.

Haastrup equally said the claimant was indicted by the defendant’s disciplinary panel since he could not make satisfactorily defence and he was recommended for dismissal.

” In my view, this is what fair hearing is all about. The claimant was accorded fair hearing as the defendant has done the needful before the dismissal of the claimant, and I so hold”.

She also held that the claimant had not presented sufficient evidence to the satisfaction of the court, to entitle him to the reliefs he sought.

The judge said that claimant failed to show how the terms of his contract was breached by the defendant

Haastrup concluded by saying that all the reliefs sought by the claimant in the suit, failed in its entirety and accordingly dismissed the suit.

News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the claimant had worked in the ICT Unit of the Law School headquarters until he was served a dismissal letter on June 25, 2014 on allegation of gross misconduct.

From his complaint, he had urged the court to declare that the termination of his employment was unlawful, illegal and a calculated attempt by the defendant to tarnish his reputation.

Emmanuel also sought for an order of the court directing the defendant to reinstate him with all his benefits and privileges as accrued.

He equally sought for payment of N500,000 as cost of prosecuting the suit.