Eleven students of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, Sound State are currently standing trial over charges of cyber fraud. The students were arraigned by the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court, Osogbo.
They include Gbolahan Khalid Adesina, Aghwaritoma Wisdom Obaro, Daniel Olashile Maiye, Moyosore Favour Oluwasakin, Perekebena Olombeni Micah, and Nnekwelugo Nnaemeka.
The others are Olumuyiwa Emmanuel Adeleye, Abiola Emmanuel Oluwadare, Okesipe Tobiloba Paul, Busari Abdulazeez Ayodeji, and Yinka Temitope Jayeola.
Nine of suspects were arraigned on one count charge each, while Micah and Obaro, the two remaining defendants, were each charged with six counts.
One of the counts read: “That you, Perekebena Olombeni Micah sometimes in 2023 in Osogbo, Osun State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonated the name – Pies – through your Whatsapp account phone number +1(414)367-9473 by claiming that you are an American female in love with your victims in the United States of America with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015.”
Another count read: “That you, Aghwaritoma Wisdom Obaro on or about 1st November 2023 at Ile-Ife, Osun State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently impersonated by representing yourself to be a white man by the name Alex Stephens from United States of America to one Megan Johnson, through your Google Chat and your email address (email@example.com) with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015.”
Following the reading of the allegations, each defendant entered a not guilty plea. Oluwatoyin Owodunni, the prosecution’s attorney, then asked the court for trial dates and the defendants’ confinement at a correctional facility.
Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Micah, Adeleye, and Okesipe’s defense attorneys responded by notifying the court of “motions for bail applications” that their clients had filed and served on the prosecution.
As a result, they implored the court to grant the six offenders the most lenient bail conditions.
Justice Ayo-Emmanuel granted bail to Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Micah, Adeleye, and Okesipe after hearing both sides’ pleas.
Micah was awarded N3 million in bail, while Ayodeji, Adesina, Oluwasakin, Adeleye, and Okesipe were granted bail in the sum of N2 million each.
Two sureties in similar sum were required as part of additional bail requirements; the defendant’s parent or parent(s) had to be the first surety.
The sureties are required to testify to an affidavit of means and provide their residential and office addresses. Additionally, the second surety must be a sibling, clergy member, or civil official employed by the Osun State Government.
Furthermore, the court registrar needs to receive and confirm the sureties’ statuses. In order to allow their bail requirements to be completed, the judge remanded the remaining defendants to the Ilesa Correctional Centre in Osun State.
The cases were postponed until the beginning of the trials on November 29 and December 12, 2023, respectively.
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