Abuja Federal Court Jails 2 For Contract Scam

Nigerian Fraudsters Jailed Over £610,000 Theft In London

A gang of fraudsters who stole £610,000 from business bank accounts have been sentenced.

Melinda Mensah-Oke and Arinola Kuye
Melinda Mensah-Oke and Arinola Kuye

Inner London Crown Court heard how Victor Oke, 39, of Galleons Drive, Barking, used stolen data provided by Desmond Uyiosa Abifade, 25, of Henniker Road, Stratford, to falsely impersonate company directors via telephone banking.

Once Oke gained access, he diverted funds to ‘mule’ beneficiary accounts monitored by Moses Kuye, 28, of Connaught Road, Silvertown.

Melinda Mensah-Oke, 37, also of Galleons Drive, impersonated company directors when a female voice was necessary, while Arinola Kuye, 27, also of Connaught Road, acted as the group’s money launderer.

They were caught after being spotted by fraud investigators at HSBC, who passed the case to the dedicated card and payment crime unit (DCPCU) to investigate.

Desmond Abifade
Desmond Abifade

The DCPCU is sponsored by the banking industry and made up of officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, bank investigators and support staff from UK Finance.

Police were able to analyse when and where the calls were made to identify the phones used and from there, the perpetrators.

All five were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, which they pleaded not guilty to.

On Wednesday, Oke was sentenced to four years in prison, while Moses Kuye was jailed for three years and three months.

Mensah-Oke received a fourteen month suspended sentence and Abifade a two year suspended sentence.

Arinola Kuye was given a 12 month community order and instructed to complete 50 hours of unpaid work.

DC Dave Cass, who investigated the case for the DCPCU said: “This was a concerted effort to commit fraud against two companies and profit from crime.

“The police take fraud very seriously and these sentences should send a message to fraudsters that you will be caught and punished.”

All losses were refunded to the genuine business account holders.

Police Kill One, Arrest Two Suspects In British Kidnapping

Police in Nigeria’s southern Delta state said they killed one suspect and arrested two others accused of involvement in the kidnapping last month of four Britons.

Three of the British hostages, who were taken by gunmen on Oct. 13, were released earlier this week after negotiations, but a fourth, Ian Squire was killed.

Delta state police spokesman Andrew Aniamaka said officers arrested two suspects and killed a third after he opened fire, wounding two officers.

Aniamaka said two other suspects who were arrested previously led police to the three men.

Kidnapping for ransom is common in parts of Nigeria, including the Delta region that produces the bulk of the country’s crude oil, but is mired in poverty and plagued by criminal and militant activity.

Court Condemns Two To Death For Armed Robbery

Ihiala High Court Two presided over by Justice Okey Onunkwo has sentenced two persons to death by hanging or firing squad.

The suspects Anene Maduka, Ikenna Obi and Osadebe Ezeh were accused of armed robbery. Anene Maduka was discharged and acquitted for lack of evidence while the others were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging or firing squad.

According to the victim of the robbery, Miss Chinonye Ogujiuba of Eziama Uli, the convicts robbed her of Nokia phone valued at fifteen thousand five hundred naira ,Cash of ten thousand naira and handbag valued at two thousand five hundred naira on second February, 2009.

In his submission during the trail, the Defense Counsel, Calistus Ohanusi and Enright Okilie argued that the burden of proof on criminal matters rest on the prosecution whom he said did not prove that their clients robbed the victim or took part in robbing the victim, and maintained that there was no sufficient evidence to convict.

But the Prosecution Counsel , Charity Madukife submitted that the burden of proof has been discharged by calling eye witnesses and that the Defence could not fault their evidence.

The identity of the first Defendant Anene Mmaduka was made an issue in the trail and the court agreed that he was not properly identified even though the victim gave evidence that he was waiting for the others on his okada while the robbery went on.

Delivering judgment, the court said there was no sufficient evidence against the first defendant while there were eye witness evidence against the convicted suspects as the victim had raised alarm after the robbery whereby the culprits were pursued by passersby , caught at Umudimogo Ihiala and handed over to the police.

72-Year-Old Man Hangs Self In Ondo

Tragedy struck at the weekend in Ondo city, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State, following the discovery of the decomposed body of a 72-year-old man.

The victim whose name was given as Titus Agunbiade, was said to have committed suicide by hanging himself with a rope on a wooden pillar inside his late father’s house located at Kajola street along Barrack road, Ondo city.

The deceased was said to have climbed a two- storey building with a ladder before hanging himself with a long rope in one of the rooms inside the house. His decomposed body  was later discovered by a young man who is said to be the deceased family member that was living with him in the house.

The young man  was said to have discovered the decomposed dangling body of the old man, who was popularly known by the appellation of “chief”  at the early hours on the  fateful day when he did not see  him in the house for few days. He was said to have contacted other members of the family concerning the whereabout of the late Agunbiade before the decomposed body was later discovered.

As the time of filing this report, the immediate cause of the incident remained shrouded in mystery, but a source from the street said that the incident had continued to generate controversy among residents of the area who described the deceased as a popular community leader and a notable political analyst in the area.

When our correspondent visited the scene of the incident, a pair of sandals and bathroom towel said to belong to the late septuagenerian were found behind him on the floor close to the wooden pillar on which he tied the rope with which he hung himself.

Residents of the area were seen in groups discussing the development in hushed tones. Some other residents, including members of his family who rushed to catch a glimpse of the lifeless body of the victim were seen covering their noses, while crying and wailing.

Some police officers from the Yaba Divisional Police Station in the town were seen in company of deceased’s family members  making frantic arrangements on how to remove the decomposed body of the late Agunbiade for burial.

Similarly, spiritualists and traditional worshippers were seen on the corridor of the house making effort to remove the lifeless body for burial in line with the tradition and culture of the people of the area.

A source close to the family of the deceased who wished to remain anonymous disclosed that the 72-year-old man might have terminated his life as a result of a protracted illness on which he had spent all his money.

When contacted on the matter, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Yaba police station, Mrs. Regina Mogbojuri, a Superintendent of Police (SP) was said to have travelled out of the town to observe her annual leave.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer at the station who did not  want his name in print confirmed the incident and disclosed that no suicide note was found inside the room where the deceased hung himself. He however disclosed that the information concerning the incident has been forwarded to the appropriate quarters at the state police command headquarters in Akure, capital  of Ondo State while investigation continues on the matter.

Farmers, Herdsmen Get Ultimatum To Surrender Firearms

The Niger State Government on Wednesday issued a 21-day ultimatum to farmers and herdsmen in possession of illegal firearms in the state to surrender such weapons to security agencies nearest to them.

Alhaji Ardo Babayo, the state Director General, Nomadic Affairs, gave the directive during a reconciliatory meeting between the two groups in Paiko, Paikoro Local Government Area of the state.

“There is need to surrender illegal firearms because of the frequent destruction of lives and property emanating from such weapons.

“No reasonable government will fold its arms and watch people take the laws into their hands because of undue access to illegal arms,’’ Babayo said.

He warned that those who refused to surrender such weapons before the expiration of the deadline would be made to face the law.

The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Paiko, SP Sagire Garba, urged the people of the area to report suspicious movements or objects to the nearest security agency.

Alhaji Hassan Wambai, Fulani community leader in Paiko, thanked the State Government for initiating the peace forum and promised to work toward peaceful co-existence between the two groups.

Nigeria Loses N127bn To Cyber Crime

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, says Nigeria has lost about N127 billion to cyber-crime.

He made this known at Nigeria’s first Legislative Stakeholders Conference on ICT and Cyber security on Monday in Abuja.

Saraki, who was represented by Senate Minority Whip Sen. Philip Aduda Saraki did not, however, specify the period within which the nation lost such an amount to cyber-crime.

He said the loss was indicative of the hole created in the economy by cyber-crime amounting to 0.08 per cent of the Gross Domestic product (GDP.

“It is indeed ironic that while internet penetration in Nigeria is tentative at best, hovering at just over the 90 million people mark, a percentage of 47.7 per cent, internet-facilitated crime seems to be growing.

“Our cyber borders are very porous, indeed,” Saraki said.

He said efforts to revive the economy must necessarily include counter-measures to minimise the losses and shore up the country’s cyber security architecture to better repel attacks.

Saraki further said that cyber-attacks had in 2016 reached unprecedented level, globally with no sign of a downward trend.

“In recent times, we have seen the virulent use to which criminals and other shadowy agents have put the cyber space.

“The cyber ecosystem has been weaponised and manipulated to devastating effect to undermine democratic processes, influence voting in elections and whip up tension and divisions between societal groups.

“Over 200,000 cyber-attacks were recorded in one single day earlier this year all over the world.

“Major international financial institutions have had their systems crippled for up to 48 hours after being targeted by criminals using Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), among other methods.”

He said such attacks threatened economic activities, adding that personal data of millions of people were compromised by cyber criminals, who demanded the payment of ransom before hijacked data could be released.

“Kidnapping, already a scourge in the Nigerian physical space, is also becoming a problem in the virtual realm as ‘cyber-kidnapping’ of encrypted data poses a clear and present danger to our economic viability.

The Senate President described cybercrime as an ever-mutating monster, constantly growing new tentacles and taking on new formations.

“Not so long ago, one web-based Ponzi scheme succeeded in entrapping thousands of Nigerians with promises of quick gains.

“Investors were left counting the costs when the bubble burst, while those responsible moved on to new pastures. There was no accountability anywhere.”

He said that it was in light of all these challenges that the Senate sounded the alarm with a motion in May and resolved to, amongst other things, convene a national conference.

“It is essential that we come up with effective cyber-security management strategies based on existing legislative frameworks, while building on the work already being done by bodies like the Cybercrime Advisory Council.

He noted that “The ‘Stop. Think. Connect’ campaign initiative of the United States Mission was aimed at reducing cybercrime in Nigeria.

According to him, the effort also points to the need to share ideas and collaborate with international partners to reduce the impact of the borderless crimes of cyber-space.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime, Sen. AbdulFatai Buhari, said the advancement in Information and Communication Technology had accelerated the growth and penetration of mobile telephony and its associated multimedia services.

“It has led to increasing access to the internet and broadband services providing opportunities for finding detailed answers to millions of questions every day.

Buhari said it was estimated that cybercrime would cost businesses in the world over $2 trillion by 2019.

In his address, the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, said globally, ICT had become a veritable tool for advancing growth and economic diversification.

He said that a World Bank study carried out in 2014 showed that every 10 per cent in ICT investment generated a corresponding 1.38 per cent increase in GDP.”

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Abdulaziz Abdullahi, the minister said government had put in place new ICT strategic road map to improve the communication sector.

Briton Kidnapped In Nigeria Last Month Killed

A Briton kidnapped in Nigeria last month has been killed with three others released after negotiations, Britain’s Foreign Office said on Monday.

“We are supporting the families of four British people who were abducted on October 13 in Nigeria, one of whom was tragically killed,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

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