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$1m Scam: EFCC arrests Kirikiri Prison boss over false medical report

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TWO Deputy Controllers (DC) of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) have been arrested for allegedly giving exaggerated medical reports that warranted a convicted internet fraudster, Hope Olusegun Aroke, being given a referral to be treated outside the facility.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Lagos Zonal office, on Tuesday, said both Emmanuel Oluwaniyi and Hemeson Edson Edwin, (DC) of the correctional service were arrested, a statement said.

Aroko alias H.money, an indigene of Okene in Kogi State serving a 24-year jail term, was said to have masterminded a mega scam to the tune of over $1 million, using a network of accomplices, some of them were targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.

The EFCC said the lid on his latest fraud exploits from the bowels of the Maximum Correctional Centre was blown following intelligence received by the commission, which left the EFCC awe as to how a convict continued to ply his trade of internet fraud from prison.

“Even more puzzling was the finding that Aroke got himself admitted to the Nigeria Police Hospital, Falomo, Lagos for an undisclosed ailment. And from the hospital, he would move out to lodge in hotels, meet with his wife and two children and attend other social functions,” the statement said.

“The circumstance of his admission into the hospital and those who aided his movement from the hospital to hotels and other social engagements is already being investigated by the EFCC,” the commission had earlier stated.

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However, a probe into the matter showed that the first suspect, Oluwaniyi, who is the Controller, Kirikiri Maximum Prison, as well as the second suspect, Edwin, who is in charge of the medical facility, fostered the crime.

The suspects although arrested on Monday by the EFCC, had before their arrest disclosed their involvement in the crime.

Aroke was one of the two Malaysia-based Nigerian undergraduate fraudsters arrested by the EFCC towards the end of 2012 at the 1004 Housing Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos, following a tip-off.

He claimed to be a student of Computer Science at the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University, Malaysia. However, investigations by the anti-graft revealed Aroke as the arrowhead of an intricate web of an internet fraud scheme that traverses two continents.

When Aroke was arrested, a search conducted by EFCC operatives of his apartment led to the recovery of several items such as laptops, iPad, traveling documents, checkbooks, flash drives, internet modem, and three exotic cars – a Mercedes Benz Jeep, One 4Matic Mercedes Benz Car and a Range Rover Sport SUV.

He was eventually convicted by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja on two counts of obtaining money by false pretence, cheque cloning, wire transfer and forgery.

He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment on each of the two counts.

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