Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Alleged $17,000 fraud: Court orders EFCC to produce devices used by fraudster

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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A Federal High Court on Wednesday ordered the Economic Financial Crimes Commission,  EFCC to produce the devices, phone and laptop used by Happiness Asuquo who allegedly defrauded an American of $17,000.

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Justice Nkeonye Maha, gave the order following a guilty plea entered into by Asuquo.

Asuquo was arraigned by the EFCC for allegedly impersonating an American citizen, James Bud, on the internet to swindle one Jean Persall, another American, of $17, 000.

Justice Maha also ordered the EFCC to produce details of the victim of the offence, who is an American, in order to know how restitution would be made.

The judge therefore adjourned the case until Aug. 2.

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Earlier, the EFCC Counsel, Richard Dauda, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on July 17.

Dauda alleged that the defendant on who posed as James Bud, in June, impersonated an American citizen on the internet and obtained the sum of N17,000 dollars from  Persall.

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The prosecution counsel told the court that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 22 (2) (b) (ii) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (iv) of the same Act.

The defendant, who pleaded guilty,  sought for a plea bargain.

Speaking after the plea, Counsel to the defendant, Ms Rose Mbata, said that that her client decided to enter a plea bargain in order not to waste the time of the court.

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Plea bargain is in line with the Provisions of Section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.


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