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Judiciary

3 men in court over alleged theft of N28,000 cell phone, cash

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The police in Ogun on Wednesday brought three men before an Ota Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing a cell phone valued at N28,000, and N15,000 cash.

The defendants, Benjamin Victor, 21; Ismail Keji, 23; and Ayobami Ibikunle, 20, whose addresses were not provided, are facing a two-count charge of stealing and conspiracy.

The Prosecutor, Sgt. Abdulkareem Mustapha, told the court that the defendants and others still at large, committed the offences on April 26, about 11:30a.m at Atan, Ota.

Mustapha said that the defendants conspired among themselves to steal a cell phone valued at N28,000, and N15,000 cash,  totaling N43,000, belonging to the complainant, Mr William Olarewaju.

“The accused were caught in the act of committing the offences by the neighbours and handed over to the police,’’ he said.

He said that the offences contravened Sections 390(9) and 516 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ogun, 2006.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Mathew Akinyemi, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N200,000 each, with two sureties each in like sum.

Akinyemi said that the sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and should be gainfully employed with evidence of tax payment to Ogun Government.

The case was adjourned until June 4, for further hearing.

Judiciary

Court orders permanent forfeiture of N280.5m linked to suspected cyber criminal, Invictus Obi

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A Federal High Court  on Thursday ordered final forfeiture to the Federal Government, of the sum of N280.5 million belonging to two companies owned by a suspected cyber criminal, Obinwanne Okeke (a.k.a Invictus Obi) standing trial in the U.S. for  alleged $11 million fraud.

The companies are: Invictus Oil and Gas Ltd. and Invictus Investment Ltd.

Okeke was indicted alongside 77 other Nigerians.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa made the forfeiture order  in Lagos following a motion for final forfeiture filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The motion was argued by EFCC counsel,  Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

The Nigeria News Agency reports  that the court had on Oct. 9, granted an application for  interim forfeiture  of the sum and ordered EFCC to publish the order to enable interested parties to appear and show cause.

At the resumed hearing, Oyedepo informed the court that all requirements for final forfeiture had been met, including publication of the interim order which, he said, was done in the Nation newspaper of Oct. 25.

He then urged the court to grant the application for final forfeiture, saying that there was no opposition to it.

The judge consequently ordered that the N280.5m in  Okeke’s bank accounts be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

He held that the court  was satisfied that the requirements of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other related Offences Act had been complied with.

In its application, the EFCC had said that Okeke, 31, was a strong leader of a cyber crime syndicate specialising in business email compromise.

In an affidavit deposed to by its investigator, Mr Ariyo Muritala, the EFCC  said that it assigned Muritala and some others to investigate a request for information on Okeke and three others by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Legal Attache, U.S. Consulate-General.

It said  that the investigation revealed that Okeke was a strong leader of a cyber crime syndicate that specialised in business email compromise.

the commission added: “The said syndicate had defrauded many innocent and unsuspecting victims.

“Obiwanne George Okeke has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States of America for cyber crime-related offences.”

According to the EFCC,  if the  N280.5 million is not forfeited to the Federal Government, Obinwanne and his cronies will dissipate same.

Edited by Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Judiciary

2 employees docked over alleged N1.4m theft

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Two employees of Magrellos Fast Foods, Lagos, John Ogundare and Soji Shogunle, were on Thursday brought before an Ogudu Magistrates‘ Court over alleged stealing of N1.4 million from their employer.

Ogundare, 36 and Shogunle, 38, are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Donjour Perezi, told the court that the defendants committed the offences between October 2018 and October 2019 at No.169, Ogudu Road, Ogudu in Lagos.

Perezi said that the defendants, both workers at the fast foods company in Ogudu, also known as Sommes Ventures Ltd., had been stealing money from the company’s account unnoticed.

The prosecutor said that the defendants allegedly stole the total sum of N1, 424, 209 from the company’s account at Ogudu branch over a period of one year.

He told the court that management of the company had suspected foul play, but could not really pinpoint what was the cause of losses until their accounts were audited.

“The defendants were later caught and arrested,” Perezi said.

He said that the offences contravened Section 280(1) (a) and punishable under Section 287 (7) (9) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the section prescribes seven years jail term for stealing.

The Magistrate, Mrs Bukola Mogaji, granted each of the defendants bail of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum.

Mogaji adjourned the case until Dec. 16 for mention.

Edited by Bayo Sekoni/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Judiciary

Court remands 30-year-old farmer for allegedly raping teenager

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An Iyaganku Senior Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Ibadan, on Thursday, remanded a 30-year-old farmer, Moses Odeh, in Agodi Correctional Centre, Ibadan, for alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl.

The Senior Magistrate, Mrs Munirat Giwa-Babalola, did not take the plea of the defendant.

She ordered Odeh to be remanded in the Agodi Correctional Centre pending the outcome of the case file, which she ordered to be sent to the Oyo State Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) for advice.

Giwa-Babalola , thereafter, adjourned the matter till Jan. 30, 2020, for mention.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Odeh was a farmer at Gbada village, via Ido town, Ibadan.

The Police Prosecutor, ASP Sunday Fatola, told the court that the defendant, on Nov. 8, 2018, had unlawful carnal knowledge of a 17-year old girl, after threatening her with a cutlass.

Fatola said that the defendant was alleged to have approached the girl to befriend him, but that she rejected his overtures.

“On Nov. 8, 2018, the victim allegedly went to ease herself on a footpath, unknown to her the defendant was trailing her behind. The defendant allegedly overpowered her and raped her on the footpath.

“The victim allegedly shouted for help. While defendant saw people coming, he escaped into the forest to Egbeda, where he was residing with his friend before he was arrested,” Fatola said.

According to him, the offence contravenes Section 357 and punishable under Section 358 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.

NAN reports that Section 358 stipulates life imprisonment for anyone who commits the offence of rape.

Edited by Emmanuel Nwoye and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Judiciary

Court remands carpenter for stealing 7 bags of cement

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A Karu Grade 1 Area Court on Thursday ordered that a 20-year-old carpenter, Mubarak Abdullahi, who pleaded guilty to stealing seven bags of cement be remanded in prison, pending sentencing.

The Judge, Abdullahi Jibrin, gave the order after he pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal trespass and theft.

Jibrin adjourned the case until Nov. 27 for review of the facts and sentencing.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Vincent Osuji told the court that the complainant, Nwabu  Jesophat reported the case at the Karu Police Station on Nov.12.

He said the defendant on Nov.10, trespassed into his shop and stole seven bags of cement, valued at N17,500.

Osuji also told the court that during police investigation, Mubarak admitted to committing the crime.

The prosecutor said the offence is punishable under the provisions of sections 287 and 348 of the Penal Code.

Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Judiciary

Maina’s failing health disrupts court’s proceeding

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Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, stepped down proceedings in the continuation of trial of Abdulrasheed Maina, Chairman, defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTM), over his failing health.

Justice Abang, who made the remark, said the order was to allow Maina, who was in court take his medication.

The development began few minutes after the commencement of the proceeding.

Nigeria News Agency observed that when the matter was called, Maina, who was sitting with families and officers of the Nigerian Correctional Services, was assisted up by two of the officers, so as to be taken to the dock by his counsel, Francis Oronsaye,

However, the judge order that he should be left to sit where he was.

When the proceeding started, the attention of he judge was brought to Maina’s deteriorating health condition by Oronsaye.

“My Lord, my client is bleeding and I will seek your indulgence to allow him take his medication,” he said.

Justice Abang, therefore , granted the request and stepped down for 20 minutes.

Details later…

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Judiciary

Welder, 46, pleads guilty to breaking-in, theft from neighborhood church

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A Yaba Chief Magistrates ‘ Court in Lagos State will on Dec. 12  deliver judgment in the case of a welder, China Azegbu, charged with stealing properties worth N510,000 from a church where he worshiped.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Oluwatoyin Oghere, gave the date after the welder pleaded guilty to a three-count charge bordering on stealing.

Oghere will on the day review the facts of the case and deliver judgment.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Azegbu, who resides at Anthony Village, Lagos, was arraigned on three-count charge of breaking into a place of worship, wilful damage to property and stealing.

Earlier, Prosecutor, Sgt. Modupe Olaluwoye, told the court that the defendant committed the offences at 4.45a.m. on Nov. 16, at No. 1, Anthony Village Road, Lagos.

According to her, the defendant, who was a member of the church – Potters House –  broke into the pastor’s office and stole property valued at N510,000.

She said that Azegbu also damaged the church’s gate, the pastor’s office door and a metal on the window.

Olaluwoye listed the stolen items to include an amplifier worth N200,000, a Samsung camcorder valued at N100,000, a Dell laptop worth  N50,000, and a laptop bag valued at N10,000.

She said that the offences contravened Sections 311, 350 and 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015 (revised).

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Section 311 stipulates a seven-year jail term for breaking into place of worship, Section  287 prescribes three years’ jail term for stealing, while Section 350 provides for  two years’ imprisonment  for willful damage to property.

Edited by Bayo Sekoni/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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