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Crime

88-year-old Woman Narrates How Man Defrauded Her Of N36m

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An 88-year-old woman, Tawakalitu Ilumoka, has told Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting at Ikeja, Lagos State, how she was allegedly defrauded of N36m by one Olorunfemi Ayodeji.

According to her, Ayodeji introduced her to some people when she informed him that her son based in the United States of America was sick.

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She said this was after she sold a piece of land for N100m out of which she gave Ayodeji N100,000.

She said, “I called Otunba (Ayodeji) and told him about my son’s health challenge. He said I had to bring him to Ondo State.

READ ALSO: Man Narrates How His Neighbour Defraud Him Of N1m

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“Though I complained that Ondo is some distance from Lagos, I agreed because he insisted my son could only be treated in Ondo.

“He, therefore, linked me up with some persons, namely Fakunle and Fabummi.”

Ilumoka said Fakunle and Fabunmi took her to a place where she met a woman, whom they said was a river goddess.

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She said, “They eventually took me to a thick bush, where there was a well-fenced house. I was scared and I asked them why I was brought there.

“They then led me to a room in the house, filled with a pool of water. A woman came out of the water and they told me she was Olokun (river goddess).

“I was asked to lower my head and was warned not to look at the goddess in the face.

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“They said Olokun wanted to give me money, but I declined, insisting that all I wanted was for my son to recover from the illness.

“I couldn’t comprehend all that Olokun was saying, so they were the ones interpreting her words to me.

“They later took me to another room, and they all entered one after the other.

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“They covered their faces with pieces of white clothes. When they mentioned my father’s and mother’s names, I was confounded.”

She said after she got home, the trio of Fakunle, Fabunmi and Ayodeji started making monetary demands from her.

“Subsequently, they would call me as early as 7am and instruct me to pay money into a certain account. I paid the sums of N5m, N11m and N10m at different times into the account. I eventually paid them N36m,” she said.

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The mother of nine and former trader at Oke-Arin Market, Lagos Island, burst into tears as she told the court that her son later died.

She said she reported the matter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which arrested Ayodeji and recovered N1.8m from him.

READ ALSO: 19-year-old Impersonates American Pilot, Defrauds Woman Of N27m

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Ayodeji is facing three counts of obtaining money by false pretences, contrary to Section 1 (1)(a) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006, and stealing, contrary to sections 278 (1), (2) and 285 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The case was adjourned till September 30, 2022, for continuation of trial.

PUNCH.

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Crime

Nigerian Jailed 235 years For N525m, €64,000 Fraud, Loses Lekki Houses

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Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo, has convicted and sentenced Scales Olatunji.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) labelled him “a notorious international fraudster”.

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The convict bagged 235 years imprisonment for internet fraud and money laundering.

Olatunji pleaded “not guilty” after arraignment in July 2019 on 45-count charges.

One reads: “That you, Scales Olatunji Ishola “M”, Meraiyebu Charles “M”(at large), Gabriel Adeyemi Olugbenga “M”(at large), Ojomo Oluwatobi Ayodele “M”(at large) and Adekola Oluwatoyin “M”(at large), between January 2017 to October 2018 converted N525,172,580”.

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The theft of the funds, which formed part of proceeds of unlawful activities to wit: fraud (Business E-mail Compromise and Identity Theft), violated Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Also, Olatunji on or about May 15, 2018, sent electronic messages (email) using emailoffice01@aol.com to one Monica Goulmoen of the Charity Association for providing girls and boys in Kobane with a football pitch.

He impersonated Per Ravn Omdal, a former Norwegian Football Association President, demanded and received €64,000.

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The offence negates offence contrary to Section 22 (3)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.

Delivering judgment, Justice Okeke convicted Olatunji on all the 45- counts preferred against him by the EFCC.

The judge said the evidence of the prosecution witnesses were consistent and the prosecution established his guilt.

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READ ALSO: N25.7bn Fraud: Appeal Court Affirms Ex-bank Boss’ Conviction, Reduces Jail Term

The prosecution was also able to establish the offence of cybercrime as it relates to count six to forty five of the charges.

The judge sentenced Olatunji to seven years imprisonment on counts one to five, and five years imprisonment on counts six to forty-five.

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The sentence shall run from the date of arrest. The money in his account will be sent to the affected Norwegian citizens through the EFCC.

Olatunji’s properties in Lekki: House No. 6, Road 2 West-end Estate in Ikota and House No. 10, Donatus Odum Street, Ikate are to be sold and the proceeds restituted to the victims.

The EFCC commenced a probe after the convict was caught on March 20, 2019 at his Ikota residence. The action followed a petition from the Oslo Police District in Norway.

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N25.7bn Fraud: Appeal Court Affirms Ex-bank Boss’ Conviction, Reduces Jail Term

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Thursday affirmed the conviction of former Managing Director of defunct Bank PHB Plc, Francis Atuche, for N25.7bn fraud but reduced his sentence of 12 years to six years.

The court also affirmed the conviction of Atuche’s co-convict Ugo Anyanwu, who was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by the lower court for stealing and conspiracy to steal.

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Anyanwu’s jail term was also reduced to eight years.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting at Ikeja had on June 16, 2021, sentenced Atuche, to 12 years’ imprisonment for N25.7bn fraud in the bank.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: FG Reverses Nigeria’s Ban From Basketball Competition

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While his former Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Anyanwu, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for stealing and conspiracy to steal and Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth, was discharged and acquitted.

But dissatisfied with the judgement of the lower court, Atuche approached the court of Appeal to challenge the judgment.

Details later…

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Crime

Warri Chief Docked, Remanded In Edo Prison

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The police in Edo on Tuesday arraigned 54-year-old Chief Johnson Asteruleghe the Iyesere of Warri, before a Benin High Court, over alleged assault, malicious damage in Ologbo Dukedom, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.

The defendant, Johnson Asteruleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri, is being tried on a seven -count charge of assault and malicious damage with charge No:B/Co 126/22

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Police Prosecutor, DPP, Okunbor Orobosa Esq. told the court that the defendant committed the offence on the 2nd day of February, 2022, at Ologbo in the Benin Judicial Division.

According to him, “You did conspire amongst yourselves to carry on warlike undertaking malicious damage, punishable under section 517 of the Criminal Code, cap.48.vol.11. laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976 as applicable in Edo state.”

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Warri, Benin Lawyers Worried Over Abduction Of Three Colleagues, Driver

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Okunbor urged the court not to grant the defendant bail, maintaining that he is fond of fermenting trouble when granted bail, citing previous criminal cases of murder against the defendant in which he was granted bail before he committed these offences.

The defendant’s Counsel, Eghedosa Imhandegbelo (SAN) in his oral bail application urged the court to grant the defendant bail.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.

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The presiding judge, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba adjourned the case to 27th of June 2022 for hearing of application for bail.

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