EFCC arraigns suspected PH ‘Yahoo Boy’ over N425m fraud
Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Command has arraigned a suspected internet fraudster, Samuel Akunomah, before Justice A. T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
He was arraigned on August 6, 2021 on 45 counts bordering on internet fraud, impersonation and obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of Four Hundred and Twenty- Five Million Naira only. (N 425,000, 000).
He was arraigned with Omena Precious Okeren, Shittu Adebayo, Austin Chibike and Charemon Golden, all who are still at large.
They were alleged to have, sometime in 2020, “directly took possession of the sum of Forty-One Million Naira (N 41,000,000.00) in First Monument Bank Account No. 4915799016 in the name of Skillz Nigeria Enterprises, money which to your knowledge formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (1)(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
A second count alleged that they “directly took possession of the sum of Thirty-Four Million Naira (N 34,000,000.00) in First Monument Bank Account No. 4915799016 in the name of Skillz Nigeria Enterprises, money which to your knowledge formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (1)(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended ) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, S.M.H. Ibekute prayed the court to remand the defendant in Port Harcourt’s Correctional Centre pending the commencement of trial. However, defence counsel, Daninagbo Davies opposed the prayer of the prosecution and sued for his bail.
Justice Mohammed reserved ruling on the bail application but ordered his remand in Port Harcourt Correctional Centre pending the determination of his application.
The defendant’s trouble began when he was arrested by the operatives of the EFCC on June 28, 2021, at Royal Palm Estate, Peter Odili Road, Port Harcourt following some established intelligence linking him with internet fraud and other internet-related activities.
In a related development Justice A. T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, has convicted and sentenced Rabiu Aliyu to two years imprisonment for illegal dealing in petroleum products, without an appropriate licence.
The convict was jailed after pleading guilty to a one-count charge, bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products without authority and an appropriate licence, upon arraignment by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.
His judgement came after he pleaded guilty to a one-count charge illegal dealing in petroleum products.
The charge reads: “That you Rabiu Aliyu, on the 16th day of May, 2017 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did without appropriate licence deal in about Thirty Three Thousand (33,000) litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (17) (a) of Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 of the Revised Edition, (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (17) (b) of the same Act”.
Counsel to the defendant, M. M. Suleiman did not oppose the prayers of the prosecution but prayed the court to temper justice with mercy.
Justice Mohammed convicted and sentenced the defendant to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250, 000.00). He ordered the 33,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) arrested with the convict, to be forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Truck with registration number XA 538 BGW released to its owner.
Aliyu was arrested sometimes in 2017 by the Anti- Illegal Oil Bunkering patrol team of 6 Division, Nigerian Army, at Akala Olu Community, in Rivers State for illegal dealing in petroleum products.
The convict was also arrested alongside a DAF truck with registration XA 538 BGW loaded with products suspected to be Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) . He was thereafter handed over to EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.