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Three Men Arraigned In Court For Defrauding Lagos Speaker Of N9.1m

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Three men identified as Frank Nwokobia, 27, Ezeoke Kanayochukwu, 25, and Godwin Essien, 28, were yesterday arraigned before Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Lagos, for allegedly defrauding the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Honourable Mudashiru Obasa, of the sum of N9.188 million.

The suspects were arraigned in court by the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), of Lagos State Police Command, Panti-Yaba, on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, impersonation, identity theft, and fraud.

According to the prosecuting team led by Barrister William Olu Ologun, the three defendants who were arrested at different locations in Delta State, had sometime in May this year, hacked the Facebook account of the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, and retrieved several information which they used in withdrawing the sum of N9.188,100.00 million from his account domiciled with Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB.

After a complaint from the speaker, the police investigations led to the arrest of the three defendants in Delta State. According to the prosecutor, the offenses are contrary to sections 27(1)(b) and 22(2)(b)(ii) of Cybercrimes Prohibition and Prevention Act, 2015.

The three defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges. After their plea, their counsel, Ali Abba, urged the court to grant them bail on liberal terms. Their counsel told the court that the defendants have credible sureties, and that they will always appear in court during their trial.

Justice Obiozor thereafter granted the accused persons bail in the sum of five million Naira each with one surety each. The judge ordered that the surety who must be recommended by the defendants’ lawyer, must be a resident of Lagos State, with landed property and three-year tax clearance. The judge also stated that the landed property’s title documents and tax must be verified by the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR).

Justice Obiozor ruled that pending the perfection of their bail conditions, they are to be remanded in Ikoyi prison.

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