NCS pledges support as EFCC arrests, jails more internet fraudsters
The Nigerian Correctional Service, NCS, has assured the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, of support in the fight against economic and financial crimes and corruption even as the commission has intensified war against internet fraudsters popularly called ‘yahoo boys’.
In a statement issued on Saturday by the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Dele Oyewale, the Comptroller of Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State, Sam Iyakoregha, gave the assurance on Friday, June 26, 2020 during a working visit by the Lagos Zonal Head of the EFCC, Mohammed Rabo to the NCS’ facility in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Rabo, who conveyed the regards of the acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to Iyakoregha, acknowledged the existing working relationship between the EFCC and the Service.
Rabo also complained of denial of entrance into the NCS facility of one convict secured by the EFCC: “We are here to observe that one of our convicts was rejected entry to your facilities for want of COVID-19 test result yesterday.
“It came to us as a mix-up in view of the recent meeting between the acting Chairman of EFCC and the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, where an agreement was reached over the admission of inmates from us.
“Though we are aware of the challenges you are facing, we are obligated to continue to discharge our duties, in spite of the pandemic.
“Efforts are being made to ensure compliance with all the reviewed regulations and protocols in order to ensure that our suspects are screened before they are brought to your facilities”, he said.
In his response, Iyakoregha expressed his gratitude over the visit, saying, “The visit is noble and the idea is good. I was planning to visit earlier before the pandemic.
“It is important that we deepen the cooperation between us as agencies to promote integrated activities.
“Initially, we had closed our facilities against inmates, but we have started receiving inmates. The only class of inmates we are not taking for now is the awaiting trials. The reason is simple: our facilities will be jam-packed”, he said.
Continuing, Iyakoregha apologised for the rejection of the convict. “As you rightly observed, the rejection of your convicted inmate yesterday was a mix-up. I want to crave your indulgence that it was an error. We have some challenges and problems we are trying to harmonize. As soon as we arrange ourselves properly, all the challenges would be in the past”, he said.
Meanwhile the EFCC has continued to burst the criminal hideout of the yahoo boys across the federation. The Magu-led commission has arrested scores of the criminals and secured several convictions in court after investigation.
In a succession arrests and prosecution, the EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, on Thursday, June 25, 2020, secured the conviction of one Michael Temitope Owolabi, over internet-related fraud.
Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, Osun State, pronounced Owolabi guilty of one-count amended charge of criminal impersonation and sentenced him to nine months imprisonment.
Justice Ayo- Emmanuel stated that the convict contravened Section 22(2) (b) (ii) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the same Act.
Justice Ayo-Emmanuel convicted Owolabi to nine months imprisonment with effect from October 14, 2019, when he was arrested.
The Judge also ordered him to return to his victim, the sum of $700 (Seven Hundred United States of American Dollars) and to forfeit the items recovered from him to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
In a similar development, the Ibadan Zonal Office of the EFCC, on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, secured the conviction of nine fraudsters. Five among them were jailed by Justice Mohammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, Ogun, while the other four were convicted and sentenced by Justice Bayo Taiwo of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan.
Convicted by Justice Taiwo for conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretence are: Samuel Adekunle Adebayo; Bimbo Bilewu, Odunayo Ibrahim and Funmibi Samuel,the EFCC spokesman disclosed.
In the same vein, Justice Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, found Adekunle Hammed Adejonwo; Michael Olanrewaju; Chima Emmanuel Nwahiri, Peter Fasuhanmi and Desmond Kenneth guilty of internet-related offences.
Nwahiri and Fasuhanmi were convicted and sentenced to five months in prison with N20, 000 option of fine, while Adejonwo and Olarenwaju earned four months jail term, each with N20, 000 option of fine. Their jail terms took effect from March 12, 2020.
The fifth convict, Kenneth was sentenced to 11 months in prison with N20, 000 option of fine. However, his term was backdated to August 27, 2019. While the convicts forfeited all items recovered from them to the federal government, they also restituted sundry sums of money to their respective victims.
In another effort to tackle the menace of internet fraud, the Abuja Zonal Office, on Thursday, June 25, 2020, also arrested six suspected internet fraudsters for alleged involvement in cyber crimes.
The arrest of the suspects was sequel to several intelligence garnered overtime about their suspicious lifestyles, the EFCC said.
EFCC agents arrested the suspects in the Dawaki model city estate, Abuja. The suspects included: Iyoriobhe Endurance, 20; Peter Uyebitame, 23; Emmanuel Akpobome, 23; Samuel Odianose, 24, Basil Ezenwa, 24 and Dare Adegun, 24.
Items recovered from them include, one Mercedes Benz C350, 4 Matic, eight (8) expensive phones and four laptops.
The suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded, according to the EFCC spokesman.
The EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu, has said the commission will not relent in its efforts until internet fraudsters find no hiding place anywhere in the country. He has also promised to make life difficult for other criminals.