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Benin court jails two internet fraudsters eight years

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Justice M. Itsueli of Edo State High Court,  sitting in Benin- City, has  convicted and sentenced the duo of Nnamdi Theo-Joseph Duru and Israel Oluwaseun Ayoomoni to eight years imprisonment for internet- related fraud.

Duru and Ayoomoni were convicted,  after pleading guilty to one- count separate charge,  bordering on, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct and possession of documents containing false pretense upon their  arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,  EFCC.

The lone- count charge against Duru reads: “that you Nnamdi Theo-Joseph Duru sometimes between 1st January, 2017 to November, 2021 in Edo State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did retain the aggregate sum of N8,000,432,22 in your Access Bank Account Number:0090793423 knowing that same represent proceeds of your criminal conduct to wit’ Cybercrime and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( Establishment ) Act 2004 and punishable under Section ßdŸ17(b) of the same Act.”

The defendants pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to them. Based on their pleas, prosecution counsel,  K.Y. Bello, prayed  the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, counsel to the defendants, Pascal Ugbome and Osaro Uyi  prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, as the defendants had shown remorse for their actions.

Justice Itsuell convicted and sentenced Duru to five years imprisonment,  with an option of fine of N500,000  while Ayoomoni bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of  N200,000 .

The judge also ordered Duru  to forfeit the sum of $34,000,  recovered from him in the course of investigation,  to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as restitution to the victim while  Ayoomoni also forfeited the sum of N23,742.36  in his Guaranty Bank account  and the sum of N20,022.10 in his Polaris Bank account  and the sum of $25  which were recovered from him as proceeds of crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria. He also forfeited his phone to the government while the bank accounts are closed.

The convicts started their journey to the Correctional Centre,  when they were arrested by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC, for internet- related offences.   They were  charged to court and convicted.

Crime

Terrorist attack: 3 teens arrested in Germany for allegedly plotting terror attack

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German authorities have arrested three teenagers aged 15 and 16 on suspicion of plotting a deadly Islamist terrorist attack in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, prosecutors said on Friday.

The state’s Central Office for the Prosecution of Terrorism (ZenTer NRW) sought an arrest warrant for the teenagers over the Easter holiday.

They were suspected of plotting a terrorist attack in accordance with the aims and ideology of (extremist militia organisation) Islamic State.

The detained suspects are a 15-year-old girl from Dusseldorf, a 16-year-old girl from the Märkischer Kreis district and a 15-year-old boy from the Soest district, located about 100 kilometres to the east of Dusseldorf.

A fourth suspect has reportedly been identified in the south-western German state of Baden-Württemberg, and the local court there has issued an arrest warrant.

According to the investigators, the teenagers are accused of having agreed to commit murder and manslaughter.

This is in conjunction with the preparation of a serious act of violence endangering the state.

The presumption of innocence applied in all stages of the proceedings.

Security sources told newsmen that the young people had formed a chat group, but had not drawn up a concrete attack plan for a particular time and place.

However, sources said the cities of Dortmund, Dusseldorf and Cologne were discussed as targets, and attacks with knives and Molotov cocktails on people in churches or police officers in police stations had been considered.

The sources said authorities had also conducted searches as part of the investigation.

A machete and a dagger were seized in Dusseldorf, but no evidence of the construction of incendiary devices was discovered.

Sources said the father of the Dusseldorf suspect had already attracted attention from authorities in the past because he had allegedly collected donations for the Islamic State.

The investigators declined to reveal how the suspected terrorists were tracked down, but said that foreign intelligence agencies “did not play a role.”

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Task force nabs woman 317 live ammunition in Benue

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The tactical team of the ‘Operation Zenda Joint Task Force’ in Benue State has apprehended a 37-year-old woman suspected for being in possession of 317 live ammunition.

The task force commander, Felix Nomiyugh confirmed the arrest on Tuesday in Makurdi.

According to him, the arrest took place at Ayati Junction in Ukum Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State, where the suspect was found in possession of a substantial cache of live ammunition.

Commander Nomiyugh disclosed that the woman is believed to have ties with a notorious bandit kingpin operating within the locality.

Further investigation led to the recovery of 200 rounds of live ammunition for general-purpose machine gun (GPMG) and 117 rounds of 7.6mm ammunition from the suspect. The apprehension underscores the commitment of Operation Zenda in tackling criminal elements and enhancing security across Benue State.

The successful operation demonstrates the effectiveness of joint task forces in combating illegal arms trafficking and curbing the activities of armed groups in the region. Authorities continue to intensify efforts to dismantle criminal networks and maintain law and order for the safety and well-being of residents in Benue State.

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Eld-el-Fitr: Violence erupts as NSCDC officials shoot woman at prayer ground in Zamfara

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Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State, was engulfed in violence yesterday leading to sorrow and anger, following reports of a fatal shooting incident by members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at an Eid prayer ground.

The Wednesday incident, which resulted in the death of a lady, ignited widespread outrage and violent protests in the neighborhood.

According to witnesses, NSCDC officials, in pursuit of alleged criminals, fired randomly, accidentally hitting the victim while she was caught up in the chaotic situation. The tragic incident triggered spontaneous demonstrations, with locals expressing their dismay by setting ablaze an NSCDC truck in a communal outburst.

Confirming the incident, ASP Yazid Abubakar, the police spokesperson, disclosed that two NSCDC employees were arrested by the Nigerian Police in Zamfara State. He assured that a comprehensive investigation is underway to ascertain the facts surrounding the incident, highlighting the delicate relationship between law enforcement and civilians in such volatile situations.

However, the Zamfara State NSCDC Spokesperson, Ikor Oche, refuted claims that the victim was shot by Civil Defence personnel. He asserted that NSCDC officials were stationed at their post when they heard the gunfire. They rushed to the scene only to find the injured woman. Oche emphasized that the NSCDC personnel did not shoot or kill anyone, and an inquiry has been initiated by the NSCDC state headquarters to determine the cause of the incident.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Police personnel intervened to restore calm in the area, dispersing the group vandalizing the Civil Defence vehicle, which had already been set ablaze.

As the investigation progresses, residents of Gusau are demanding justice and measures to prevent similar tragedies in the future, underscoring the urgent need for accountability and restraint in law enforcement operations.

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