EFCC arraigns Ibadan club owner for alleged N31.8m fraud, others
The Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the owner of Ibadan-based club, De Rock Club, Sunday Olawale Adepoju, before Justice Uche Agomoh of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on two separate charges for his alleged involvement in cybercrime and obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of N31, 821, 000.00 .
The first charge, containing eight counts, borders on identity theft, obtaining COVID-19 and unemployment benefits from the United States of America government, while the other 19- count charge is on transfer of proceeds of crime to one Owoade Emmanuel David.
Head, Media and Publicity of the anti-graft commission, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, yesterday revealed that Adepoju, 36, who claimed to be Industrial Chemistry graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, had during the COVID – 19 pandemic swindled American government and unsuspecting American citizens of thousands of United States of America dollars.
According to him, the defendant allegedly stole identities of American citizens, eligible for the tax refund programme across the U.S. and filed the stolen information to claim the benefits.
“Investigations also showed that Adepoju through the US Small Business Administration (SBA), a programme established in New York City during Covid-19 to help Americans build resilient businesses, stole personal identifying information of American citizens, which he deployed in filing false benefits claims,” Uwujaren said.
Meanwhile, the defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the charges were read to him.
Consequently, the prosecuting counsel, Mabas Mabur asked the court to remand the defendant pending the determination of the case, as well as a trial date.
However, counsel to the defendant, Olaniyi George, told the court that he has filed two separate bail applications on behalf of his client and prayed the court to grant the defendant bail.
Responding, the prosecuting counsel told the court to reject the applications on the grounds that the defendant is a flight risk, who had pending charges against him in other law courts.
After hearing from the counsel, Justice Agomoh adjourned the matter to April 18, 2023, for ruling and remanded the defendant in Agodi Correctional facility.
Adepoju was arrested on August 31, 2022, alongside 21 other suspected internet fraudsters, in an intelligence-driven operation carried out by EFCC operatives in Ibadan.
He was arrested with a 2020 Range Rover HSE Sports Utility Vehicle, an iPhone 13 Pro Max and HP laptop, among others.