EFCC Brings Charges Against 11 OAU Students for Online Fraud

11 OAU Students Arraigned for Internet Fraud Charges

EFCC Brings Charges Against 11 OAU Students for Online Fraud
EFCC Charges 11 OAU Students with Cybercrimes

Eleven students from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) found themselves facing charges related to internet fraud as they appeared before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court in Osogbo, Osun State. The arraignment took place on Monday at the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The accused individuals, named as Perekebena Olombeni Micah, Nnekwelugo Nnaemeka, Moyosore Favour Oluwasakin, Aghwaritoma Wisdom Obaro, Daniel Olashile Maiye, Gbolahan Khalid Adesina, Yinka Temitope Jayeola, Olumuyiwa Emmanuel Adeleye, Abiola Emmanuel Oluwadare, Busari Abdulazeez Ayodeji, and Okesipe Tobiloba Paul, faced varying counts of charges brought against them by the EFCC.

Nine of the defendants faced one count charge each, while the remaining two, Micah and Obaro, had six-count charges filed against them. One of the counts alleged that Perekebena Olombeni Micah, in 2023 in Osogbo, Osun State, fraudulently impersonated an American female with the name “Pies” via their WhatsApp account, with the phone number +1(414)367-9473, intending to deceive victims in the United States of America. This act was considered an offense under Section 22 (2) (b) (i) and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015.

Another count accused Aghwaritoma Wisdom Obaro of fraudulently impersonating a white man named Alex Stephens from the United States of America to one Megan Johnson on or about November 1, 2023, in Ile-Ife, Osun State. This was done through Google Chat and an email address (alexsteps678@gmail.com) with the intent to gain an advantage, which was also considered an offense under the same sections of the Cyber Crimes Act.

All of the defendants pleaded not guilty after the charges were read, prompting the prosecution counsel, Oluwatoyin Owodunni, to request trial dates and the remand of the defendants in a Correctional Centre.

In response, defense counsels representing Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Micah, Adeleye, and Okesipe informed the court about the “motions for bail applications” they had filed on behalf of their clients. These motions had already been served on the prosecution, and they urged the court to grant bail to the six defendants under the most lenient conditions.

After hearing both sides, Justice Ayo-Emmanuel granted bail to Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Micah, Adeleye, and Okesipe. Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Adeleye, and Okesipe were each granted bail in the amount of N2 million, while Micah received bail in the sum of N3 million. The conditions for bail included having two sureties who would each match the bail amount, with the first surety being either the defendant’s parent. The second surety had to be a relative, sibling, clergy member, or civil servant employed by the Osun State Government. Additionally, the sureties were required to provide affidavits of means and disclose their residential and office addresses, with their statuses to be verified by the court registrar.

The judge ordered the remaining defendants to be remanded at the Ilesa Correctional Centre, Osun State, until their bail conditions were met. The trial was scheduled to commence on November 29 and December 12, 2023.

It was learned that these defendants were part of a group of 69 suspected internet fraudsters arrested on November 1 in the Oduduwa Estate area of Ile-Ife. Their arrests followed actionable intelligence indicating their involvement in fraudulent internet-related activities.

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