EFCC prosecutes internet fraudster, says lockdown won’t knock out cases
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kaduna Zonal Office, has arrested one Beegu Tyopav, for fraudulently obtaining the sum of N90,000 from one Daniel Osayande, in Kaduna. The commission yesterday arraigned the suspect before Justice Mohammed Tukur of the Kaduna State High Court on a one-count charge bordering on internet-related fraud.
Tukur sentenced the suspect to two years term in a correctional facility or an option of N150,000 fine after he pleaded guilty to internet fraud. Earlier, counsel to EFCC, E.K. Garba, told the court that on March 3, Tyopav fraudulently induced one Daniel Osayande, a retiree, to disclose his Automated Teller Machine (ATM) PIN, by impersonating one Godwin Philemon, working with First Bank Plc.
He further explained that when Osayande disclosed the PIN, the accused fraudulently transferred N90,000 from Osayande’s account to his account.
The counsel stated that the offense was contrary to and punishable under Section 142(1) of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law, 2017.
Meanwhile, the commission has said the protracted lockdown arising from the dreaded coronavirus scourge would not deter it in its fight against corrupt practices as none of its ongoing investigations and cases in court would be aborted. Reports available show that the commission has its hands full of cases awaiting resolution in court, while some cases being investigated are ripe enough for prosecution.
One of such cases, according to a source, is the alleged N7.7 billion Police Equipment Fund’s fraud involving Kenny Martins. The EFCC is prosecuting Martins, the coordinator of the Police Equipment Fund (PEF), following his alleged connivance with three others to embezzle about N7,740,000,000 belonging to the PEF.
It will be recalled that the EFCC had appealed against the judgment of Justice Mohammed Talba of an FCT High Court, Gudu, which discharged him and his co-defendants Ibrahim Dumuje, Joni Icheka and Cosmas Okpara, after he upheld their “no-case submission” on November 24, 2009. Dissatisfied with the verdict, the EFCC approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja, asking it to set aside the judgment.
The appellate court had on June 28, 2012, upheld the argument of the EFCC, insisting that its appeal was meritorious. But as the EFCC was getting set to re-arraign the defendants, Kenny Martins proceeded to the Supreme Court, asking the apex court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court, however, on March 23, 2018, dismissed Kenny Martins appeal, thus giving the green light for the commencement of his trial.
To this end, the EFCC amended the charges against Martins and other defendants and arraigned them before Justice Adebiyi on January 15, 2020. Hearing on the case is expected to continue immediately after the lockdown is relaxed.
Other cases that may come on stream with the imminent easing of the lockdown order include cases involving Doyin Okupe, Babachir Lawal, Ismaila Mustapha, Chief Fani Kayode, Senator Gabriel Suswan, Andrew Yakubu, Senator Adeseye Ogunleye, and ex-governor Ibrahim Shekarau, among many others.
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