© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Cyber fraudster remanded in prison for N525m scam.
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned a suspected serial fraudster, Scales Ishola, on a 45-count charge in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
The Uyo Zonal Office of the EFCC arraigned Ishola on charges bordering on impersonation, obtaining by false pretence, conspiracy and fraud.
The case was presided over by Justice A.A. Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, the capital city.
According to a statement from the EFCC, Uyo Zonal office, one of the charges reads:
“That you, Scales Olatunji Ishola ‘M’, Meraiyebu Charles ‘M’ (at large), Gabriel Adeyemi Olugbenga ‘M’ (at large), Ojomo Oluwatobi Ayodele ‘M’ (at large) and Adekola Oluwatoyin (at large), between January 2017 to October 2018, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, did knowingly cause the loss of N525,172,580 (Five Hundred and Twenty-five Million, One Hundred and Seventy-two Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty Naira) only, being property of the government and people of Norway and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14 (2) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under the same Section.” The paper said.
Ishola and his accomplices, who are currently at large, had a speciality in impersonating people, using their identity to defraud unsuspecting victims by sending business emails with fake identities and duping them of several million in various currencies.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
The counsel for the EFCC, Nwandu Ukoha, in view of his plea, prayed the court to remand him in prison and fix a date for commencement of trial.
“The court had on July 1, 2019, granted an application made by the prosecution seeking an interim forfeiture of properties belonging to them. The properties include House No. 6, Road 2 Westend Estate, Ikota Lekki, Lagos State, and House No. 10, Donatus Odum Street, Ikate, Lagos State,” the paper read.
The matter was later adjourned to October 16 for the hearing of bail application.