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189 SIM cards: ‘Ghost mode’ alleged fraudsters appear in court

189 SIM cards: ‘Ghost mode’ alleged fraudsters appear in court

A prosecutor, Mr Moruf Animashaun, told a Lagos court on Friday that 189 Subscriber Identity Module, SIM cards were retrieved from accused persons charged with defrauding a woman of N3.3 million through a phone call.

Animashaun, from the office of the Inspector-General of Police, gave the information while objecting to a bail application of the accused persons at an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

In the suit, Samson Owah, 39; Job Akakasi, 26; Benjamin Oghereworo, 42 and Profit Ejimulode, 58, are standing trial on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and stealing.

They pleaded not guilty and their counsel, Mr Anayo Agbo, had urged the court to grant them bail on liberal terms.

“What matters in this case is for the accused to provide reliable sureties who will ensure they appear in court whenever they are needed,” Agbo had said.

But objecting to the application, Animashaun told the court that the accused were tracked before they were arrested.

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“They do not have permanent abode, they move around the country and perpetrate criminal acts.

“During the course of investigation, 189 SIM cards were retrieved from them. I want the court to refuse them bail,” he said.

The Magistrate, Mrs Abimbola Komolafe, however, granted them bail in the sum of N500, 000 each, with two sureties each in like sum.

She said the sureties must be gainfully employed and should show evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

Komolafe said that the sureties must reside within the jurisdiction of the court.

Earlier, Animashaun told the court that the accused committed the offences on May 4, at Eco Bank Plc, Ikorodu, Lagos.

He said that the accused called the complainant, one Patience Denatie, posing as her brother, and told her to send money for a business they spoke about.

“A total sum of N3.3 million was paid to the accused through a bank account they provided.

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“She (the complainant) had paid in the money before she realised that it was a scam; she reported the matter to the police, who investigated it and arrested the accused,” he said.

Animashaun said the offences contravened Sections 287 (5), 314 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).

TheNewsGuru reports that Section N287 stipulates a three-year jail term for offenders.

The case has been adjourned until Aug. 29 for mention.

 

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