Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Department of State Service (DSS), Edo State Command, yesterday paraded two suspected internet fraudsters, who allegedly used the names of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, to defraud unsuspecting members of the public of their money.
The suspects are 30-year-old Business Administration student of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Asuelimen, and 18-year-old Ogashi.
The Deputy Director (Security Enforcement) of the DSS, Galadima Byange, who paraded the suspects before newsmen in Benin, said Asuelimen, created a fictitious Facebook account in the name of the vice president to scam unsuspecting victims.
Asuelimen, who admitted defrauding no less than five persons, said he told them “to send money and recharge cards to process their registration and subsequent eligibility for a loan of N100, 000 each
“My parents are not aware and nobody is aware that I’m doing fraud. I’m into fraud because I think I can get money to pay my school fees and complete my degree course in Business Administration.”
On his part, Ogashi, who claimed to be a fashion designer, said he was arrested for allegedly impersonating Mrs. Buhari on an Instagram account with which he defrauded his victims.
He said he created the Instagram account in May 2019, with a message that the First Lady was empowering Nigerian youths with cash to start up their businesses and that interested persons were required to register with money.
The DSS Deputy Director, Mr. Byange, said: “Youths who engage or contemplate of engaging in acts of this nature or other fraudulent behaviours that there is no short cut to wealth. They should engage themselves in decent productive venture or risk being guest of law enforcement agencies.”
Meanwhile, an Oredo Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a car wash owner, Igho Ita, and two of his boys, Wellington Osagie and Pascal Bossou, to 32 months imprisonment each for stealing a Toyota Highlander valued at N3.5m.
The suspects, who were arraigned on a two-count charge bothering on stealing, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During the trial, police prosecutor, Patrick Agbonifo, called two witnesses and informed the court that the owner of the vehicle, John Paul Orjika, took his car to the car wash on August 11, 2018, and left his keys with them.
He said the owner returned and was told by the car wash operators that another person came and took the car away.
The suspects did not call any witness.
The Magistrate, Mrs. Ivie Akere, found three of them guilty of both charges and sentenced them accordingly.
She, however, gave them an option of N160,000 fine on both charges.