A 27-year-old barber, Wale Kehinde, was on Thursday arraigned at an Ikeja High Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly defrauding two Americans of $23,000 through romance and lottery scams.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kehinde, a resident of No. 8, Ogundare Awise Lane, Gbagada, Lagos, however, pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge of obtaining money by false pretenses and possession of fraudulent documents.
According to Mrs Zainab Ettu, the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, the barber allegedly committed the offences sometime in 2017 in Lagos.
“The defendant goes by three aliases which are- Charles Coleman, Benson Coleman and Carolina Brewer.
“While posing as Charles Coleman, the defendant fraudulently obtained $15,000 from Janice Steen, an American, by falsely representing to her that he is an American building contractor who was in love with her.
“He illegally obtained $8,000 from Jan Rowland, another American, by falsely informing her that she had won a lottery and that he was Carolina Brewer, a lawyer working on her winnings.
“While posing as Carolina Brewer, Kehinde informed Rowland that the $8,000 represented clearance fees for the lottery winnings,” Ettu said.
The EFCC counsel alleged that the defendant was also nabbed by the anti-graft agency with fraudulent e-mails sent to foreigners.
“On June 21, 2018, he had in his possession a g-mail document entitled “About Me”, which he had sent to Kasie Butler, to her e-mail address [email protected], the document he sent contained false pretence.
“He also sent a document containing false pretence which was entitled “About Me” to one Mike . W to his e-mail address mwblast<[email protected] com,” she said.
NAN reports that the offences contravened Sections 1(3) and 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006.
Following Kehinde’s plea, Ettu urged the court to remand the defendant in prison custody because the anti-graft commission’s detention facility was currently overcrowded.
Mr Frank Eke, the defendant’s counsel, via a summons for bail dated Aug. 20, urged the court to order that Kehinde be remanded at the EFCC pending his client’s bail hearing.
Acceding to the EFCC’s request, the vacation judge, Justice Obafemi Adamson, ordered that the defendant be remanded at the Ikoyi Prisons.
He adjourned the case until Sept. 6, for hearing.