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EFCC arraigns two in court over alleged $1.6m fraud


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, arraigned two bureau de change operators before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, for allegedly laundering $1.6 million, said to be proceeds of smuggling.

The defendants. Chris Ogbonna, Sulaiman Jibbo, were arraigned alongside two firms— Kur and Sule Nigeria Enterprises and Sunchrist Trans Nigeria Limited,  on five counts before Justice Ayokunle Faji.

The anti-graft agency said they ought to have reasonably known that the $1.6 million, which they allegedly removed from jurisdiction sometime in 2017, “formed parts of proceeds of unlawful activity, to wit: smuggling.”

Ogbonna and Sunchrist Trans Nigeria Limited were also accused of transferring a total of N607.2 million, being proceeds of smuggling, to Kur and Sule Enterprises. Jibbo, on his part, was accused of making a cash payment of $52,287 to one Fredrick, “which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law.”

The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Kufre Uduak, told the court that the defendants acted contrary to sections 18(c), 15(2), 1(a), and 16(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and they were liable to punishment under sections 15(3) and 16(2)(b) of the same law.

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The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Following a bail application by their counsel, Chuks Nwana, Justice Faji admitted each of them to bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.

Among other conditions, the judge barred the defendants from travelling outside the country, with an order that the EFCC should notify the Nigeria Immigration Service about them.

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The judge gave them 10 days to meet the bail conditions, failing which they would be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services.

He adjourned till July 10 for a report of compliance with the bail conditions.


Woman fakes blindness for 15 years, gets £1m in benefits but husband had no clue



A man claimed he had no idea his wife was pretending to be blind and wheelchair-bound when she scammed £1 million in benefits.

John Pomfrey, 60, said he was clueless to his wife Christina’s lies which have now landed her in prison.

On Monday, the 65-year-old grandmother, from Runcorn, Cheshire, was jailed for three years and eight months after she pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to multiple counts of fraud, false accounting and making or supplying articles for use in frauds.

She lied she was totally blind and wheelchair-bound, but surveillance by investigators showed her driving, going for a walk unaided while reading a newspaper and collecting her grandchildren from school.

Mr Pomfrey, who married Christina in 2005, told the Daily Mail:

“People think I must have known what she was up to and where all the money went, but the answer to both is I don’t have a clue.

“She has destroyed my life and I cannot forgive her. She is the craftiest woman I have ever known.”

Mr Pomfrey added she had lied to him she was a millionaire and owned seven newsagents in Liverpool.

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When confronted with the evidence by police, she said she was relieved to be finally caught and claimed she had given the money away to charity and those in need.

However, she also admitted she had spent cash on numerous holidays, cosmetic treatment and clothes.

Sentencing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court, Judge Sophie McKone told her:

“You grossly exaggerated your disabilities in pretending you were completely blind and that your multiple sclerosis was of such severity that you required significant and costly care.

“This was money to which you were not entitled. Over 15 years, you stole £1 million from your fellow citizens. Money which would have gone to people who justly deserved it, money that could have gone to schools and hospitals.”

The court heard despite Pomfrey’s admission of guilt and remorse to investigators in December 2017, she continued her deceit while on bail.

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The defendant had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and also suffers from the disassociative disorder, where she appears to adopt different personas to cope with past trauma, as a result of the abuse she suffered as a child.

Her daughter, Aimee Brown, 34, from Runcorn, received an 18-month jail term, suspended for two years after she laundered £80,000 of Pomfrey’s cash into her bank account and kept more than £70,000 for herself.

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She was “hoodwinked” by her mother and had no knowledge of the extent of her lies, but had entered a guilty plea to money laundering because she did not act on her suspicions, the court heard.

The court was also told the full amount of £1,010,090 fraudulently claimed in various benefits had been spent by Pomfrey.

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My ordeal a set-up, fulfilment of my fiancee’s vision – man, 25, accused of raping 70-year-old woman



Bankole Wasiu
Bankole Wasiu

A 25-year-old caterpillar driver, Bankole Wasiu, accused of raping his landlady’s friend in her sleep, has denied the allegations.

Wasiu was said to have raped the 70-year-old woman on 2 June 2020 after sneaking into her apartment. Her screams were said to have attracted a neighbour, Ayoola Oluwasegun, who came to the woman’s rescue and hit the suspect on the back with a stick, forcing him to let go of the victim.

In his attempt to flee the scene of the crime, Wasiu was said to have left behind his cap, clothes and torchlight. However, despite his belongings being found at the scene, the suspect claimed he was being set up by some unknown individuals.

According to him, after he was arrested at his workplace on 3 June 2020, the vigilance members who effected his arrest showed him the items he purportedly left at the scene of the crime, saying they would be used as exhibits.

He claimed the events might be a fulfilment of a vision his fiancee had about him.

Wasiu said,

I do not know how they got my cap, clothes and torchlight, which they showed to me as things that would be used as exhibits. I told the officers of the vigilance group that I wore the clothes to work on the previous day and spread them outside to dry because I had been in the rain.

I also identified the torchlight as mine but what happened was that I drank two bottles of beer the night before I was arrested. I don’t know why I did not open my door, which made me sit on a mattress that was kept in one corner outside my apartment. At that time, some kids came to meet me and we played together. In fact, we drank the beer together. I don’t know what happened after that until I woke up around 10pm. I left the house immediately because my fiancée had warned me to stay away from the house. Part of the prophecy she revealed to me was that some people were planning to implicate me.

Wasiu also denied ever being into the victim’s apartment but acknowledged knowing her and, at times, buying her alcoholic beverages.

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He explained,

I was on a bench in the workplace on June 3, preparing for work when some men arrived. My workshop is around Abule, along Robiyan, in Abule Ijoko, Agbado area, Ogun State. One of them sat on my right and the other sat on my left. They grabbed my trousers and said they were arresting me for committing a crime. I asked for their identities and they said they were vigilantes. They handcuffed me and forced me to follow them to their office. When we got to their office, they told me to confess to the crime I committed overnight. I was shocked; I told them I didn’t commit any offence overnight. After saying that, they started beating me with their sticks to the extent that my clothes got torn.

The old woman they alleged that I raped used to visit my landlady where I stay. At times, she would ask me to buy her food and I would oblige her. At times, she would ask me to buy her alcohol and I usually would. I didn’t know anything about this until those vigilantes came to arrest me. They said I should confess that I raped the old woman, which I never did. They brought the woman to their office and asked me to identify her. I never claimed that I did not know her. I told the vigilantes that I knew the woman through my landlady.

The next question they asked me was, what took me to the old woman’s room at midnight? I was surprised because I did not understand what they were talking about. I told them I had not slept in my apartment for some time because of a prophecy my fiancée revealed to me. She said she dreamt I would be framed for something I didn’t do. I was advised to stay away from home for some time and I did.

The old woman’s house is not far from my apartment. I used to pass the woman’s house and almost everybody in the area knows me. When they invited the woman to their (vigilance group’s) office, she reluctantly said I was the one who raped her. I denied the allegation immediately.

I have never been inside the woman’s apartment since I started living in that area. I would only pass by her house whenever I went work or somewhere else. I have never raped anybody in my life since I was born. I swear on the Holy Qur’an; I never raped that woman. I swear to God. I only know the woman through my landlady; she used to visit my landlady. The woman used to ask me to buy alcohol for her and, sometimes, I would give her money instead. Aside from my landlady, there is another place the woman mostly used to sit. There, a woman sells alcohol. Whenever I saw her around there, she would ask me to buy her alcohol, and I always did.

Nobody hit me with a stick until I got to the vigilantes’ office. They were torturing me anyhow. I don’t know anything about this case; I was implicated. I would never have sex with a 70-year-old woman.

I have never had a love affair with an old woman or a housewife; everyone in my house can testify to the fact that I never brought anyone who falls under the two categories to my apartment. Even my fiancée can testify to it.

Asked if he wanted to use the woman for money rituals, he said:

I have been hearing that since I was arrested. Some people have even asked if I am an Internet fraudster and I have been telling them that I’m not a Yahoo boy (Internet fraudster) and there is nothing that would make me rape such an old woman. The vigilantes did not allow me to express myself; they were just beating me and asking me to confess I committed a crime I did not commit. I was eventually transferred to a police station in the area. While they were interrogating me, some of the policewomen told their colleagues that I could not have raped such an old woman and that if I had committed the offence, the woman would have been dead.

That was the reason why the divisional police officer transferred the case to another police division in Ayinla. On our way to the police station, the vigilance officer that claimed to have hit me in the back with a stick warned the woman not to change her statement whenever anybody asked her what happened. The woman had already told the vigilantes and one of my neighbours whose room was next to mine that I did not rape her but they would not listen.

Still denying the allegation, the caterpillar driver said,

I did not rape the woman. In fact, the police at Ayinla Division have requested that the woman should bring a medical report to ascertain if it was rape or not, but she refused to go for that.

She gave an excuse when the police officers at the Police Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta requested a doctor’s report. The woman did not allow anybody to test her even after we got to this place. The woman and her family members have said they are not interested in the case again but the police have refused (to let me go). They asked for my family members too and I told them that my father resides in Kogi State and I do not have any family member in Lagos. After interrogations, the police called my father on the phone to explain the situation to him but he told them I could not commit such an offence.


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From Oyo to Lagos, 23-year-old armed robber ‘Judgement’ tells tales of blood and death



Enioluwa Adebayo aka Judgement and an accomplice, Olubushe

A 23-year-old suspect, Enioluwa Adebayo, known in crime world as ‘Judgement’, has narrated gory tales of bloody killings in his four years stint as an armed robber.

Judgement, who led a notorious three-man gang, reportedly earned the nickname, for killing victims who resisted his attempt to rob them.

The gang was said to have carried out robbery operations in  Oyo, Osun and Lagos states and operated mostly on motorcycles.

It was learnt that the gang also carried out ‘brisk operations’ early morning and in the evening, robbing passersby of their valuables.

WuzupNigeria reports that Judgement and a member of the gang, Sunday Olubushe, aka Ajegunle, were arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team in Oyo State recently following a failed attempt to rob a popular supermarket in Mokola area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in March 2020.

The robbery operation was foiled by soldiers who engaged the robbers in a gun duel and injured Judgement.

Detectives went after the suspects, tracked down the gang leader at his girlfriend’s house where he was treating gunshot injuries he sustained during the faceoff with soldiers.

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He led the operatives to arrest Olubushe.

One Tunde Kasari, said to be the second-in-command, is still at large.

“They told us that it was one Baba Esther that usually assisted them in buying guns at the rate of N30,000. One Lambe helped them to get their ammunition for N17,000. Judgement and his gang stayed in a hotel around Ibadan from where they launched their attacks,” a police source stated.

While being paraded during the week, the gang leader, who hails from Osun State, said he was introduced to robbery while he was trying to raise money for his freedom after completing his apprenticeship as a barber.

Adebayo said,

“I finished secondary school in 2015 and started learning barbing. After six months, my boss asked me to look for money for my freedom. I started riding a commercial motorcycle. I met one Lekan, also known as Corporal, who introduced me to robbery.

“We started by stealing motorcycles from where they were parked at night. Within a year, I stole many motorcycles in Ibadan together with Corporal before we switched into full-time armed robbery.”

He stated that they bought guns and went for their first robbery operation in the Ikire area of Osun State on two motorcycles.

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He said the attack was botched as their target and his neighbours quickly raised the alarm and chased them away.

Adebayo stated,

“I broke my leg in that operation. I was arrested and taken to the station, where I spent about one month. I was later released when the pain from my injured leg was too much and the people who brought me to the station were not forthcoming.

“I went home and my gang members took care of me. They brought my share after every operation. I rejoined the gang when I got healed and we started doing ‘stop-and-search robbery.’

“Whenever we see people walking on the road, we would stop and search them with our guns and take valuables found on them. We did this in the morning and in the evening and we were doing it all over Ibadan.”

He said in 2018, they raided a house in the airport area, Ibadan, where he killed a man who allegedly resisted him.

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He added,

“When we got there, the owner of the house hit me on the head with a big iron and I fell. I was bleeding and asked my boys to pin the man to the ground. I hacked him to death with a machete. We left without getting the money we went for.

“The second person I killed was in March 2020. We attacked a woman operating a bar around 11pm in Ojo area. One of my boys known as Tunde grabbed the woman’s bag from her and when we were about to leave, the woman poured drinks on my face and held me.

“She was trying to prevent me from escaping. I became angry and shot her. I killed her on the spot. I also carried out some robberies in Lagos State.”

He said he realised between N70,000 and N80,000 on each operation, but spent all the money on women and clothes.

“I regret all I have done and I hope the police will forgive me and give me a second chance,” he pleaded.

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