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Court convicts man for internet fraud in Kaduna

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The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of one Okoroafor Alexander (aka Micheal White) before Justice Darius Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court, Kaduna on a two count charge bordering on internet fraud.

The charge reads, “that you, Okoroafor Alexander (aka Michael White), sometime in May, 2023 at Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court falsely presented yourself as Michael White to one Linda Craig via Instagram (a social media application) in a bid to lure her into love scam, which pretence you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 142 (1) of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law, 2017”.

The convict was arrested in May, 2023 at Abuja following intelligence report received by the Command indicating his involvement in internet fraud. Investigation revealed he used stolen identities to defraud unsuspecting victims of their hard-earned monies.

Upon arraignment, he pleaded guilty to the charge.  Consequently, the prosecution counsel, Y.J Matiyak urged the court to convict him accordingly.

Justice Khobo however convicted and sentenced him to 2 years imprisonment with an option of a fine of N150, 000. He is to forfeit all proceeds of the crime to the Federal Government.

Crime

Mother of five jailed for forging late Abba Kyari’s signature

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The Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Gwagwalada, Abuja, has sentenced a mother of five, Ramat Mba, to one year imprisonment for her involvement in an employment scam.

Mba also forged the signature of the late Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the former President, Muhammadu Buhari.

The presiding judge, Honourable Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, had last week deferred the sentencing of the convict till Thursday but directed that she should be remanded in Suleja Correctional Centre.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission had arraigned Mba in June 2022 on a 5-count bordering on cheating, fraud and forgery, contrary to Section 13 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and Sections 320(b), 366 of the Penal Code Cap 89 laws of Northern Nigeria.

n the course of the trial, the commission, through its prosecutor, Hamza Sani, had led Mba in evidence before the court on how the convict committed the offence sometime in 2020 when she collected N4.5 million from several job seekers, promising to secure jobs for them with the ICPC and National Air Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).

Also, the documentary evidence tendered showed that the convict fraudulently forged the letterhead of the Office of the Chief of Staff to former President Buhari and his signature.

The letter, addressed to the ICPC Chairman, was a request for the recruitment of three individuals by the commission.

However, the late CoS, in a written correspondence that was also tendered in court as an exhibit, distanced himself or his office from authorising the letter.

The spokesperson for the ICPC, Demola Bakare, revealed the development in a statement on Friday.

Bakare revealed, “The trial judge, Justice Muhammad, in his judgment on May 9, 2024, convicted the mother of five children on counts 1, 2, 3 and 5 that border on cheating and forgery, while she was discharged on count 4 which borders on felony.

“Justice Muhammad, during the sentencing on Thursday, pronounced a six-month jail term or N100,000 option of fine on counts 1, 2 and 3 on the convict.

“The presiding judge, who stressed the status of the convict as a first-time offender and a mother, also sentenced her to one-year imprisonment or N150,000 option on fine on count 5 which borders on forgery.”

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15 worshippers die in Kano mosque attack — Police

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The Kano State Police Command on Friday confirmed the death of 15 persons in the mosque attack in Gadan village in Gezawa Local Government Area of the state.

A man on Wednesday allegedly sprayed the mosque with petrol, locked its doors, and set it on fire, trapping worshippers.

The state Commissioner of Police, Usaini Gumel, told the News Agency of Nigeria in a telephone interview that so far, 15 out of the 24 victims of the incident died.

Initial reports said one worshipper had died from the attack but the death toll later rose after more victims died while receiving treatment at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital in Kano.

Gumel said that the incident occurred during a dawn prayer at a mosque in Gadan village, leaving 24 worshippers injured.

He said the injured victims were currently receiving treatment at the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, Kano.

The suspect, Shafi’u Abubakar, 38 is currently in police custody.

The motive behind the attack was believed to be a family conflict over the sharing of family inheritance.

The commissioner said that the police are continuing with their investigation into the attack.

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Buying pre-registered SIM cards criminal, NCC warns

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The Nigerian Communications Commission has warned Nigerians against buying pre-registered SIM cards, citing the illegal nature of the practice, and could attract severe consequences.

In an advisory note sighted on its X platform on Friday, the telecom regulator emphasized that the use of pre-registered SIM cards compromises the accuracy of consumer information.

“Buying pre-registered SIM cards is criminal and may lead to imprisonment, implication in identity theft, financial fraud, kidnapping and armed robbery,” part of the advisory noted.

The NCC explained that using a pre-registered SIM card undermined the reliability of data collected on consumers, making it challenging for authorities to identify and apprehend the actual perpetrators of crimes.

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The warning aims to educate the public on the risks associated with pre-registered SIM cards and encourage compliance with legal guidelines to enhance national security.

The commission urged to follow the proper procedures for registering SIM cards to avoid any legal consequence.

The NCC made the linkage compulsory, directing all telecommunications operators to enforce complete network barring on all phone lines for which subscribers fail to link their SIM cards to their NINs.

There have been two phases of barring SIM cards not linked to NIN by the telcos – the first occurred on February 28 and the second one occurred on March 29.

The regulator, however, has extended the deadline for linking SIM cards to NIN (last phase) to July 31, 2024, from April 15. This extension applies to subscribers with more than four SIMs.

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