13 February 2013

Nigeria: Witness Indicts 39-Year-Old Suspected Fraudster in Court

Trial of 39-year-old suspected fraudster, Mr Awili Victor, continued yesterday at Lagos High Court, Igbosere, as the prosecution's witness, Damilola Sholademi, informed the court that among items found in the defendant's computer was a document purported to be from the Presidency.

Solademi, an operative of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, told the court that as at the time the documents were printed, the defendant was present and asked to confirm the e-mail address from which the documents were printed.

Although the witness said she could not ascertain origin of the document, she pointed out that upon the arrest of the suspected fraudster on December 2, 2010, at his Gbagada residence, a search was conducted and various SIM cards, internet modems, laptop and other items were found.

"Due to experience with suspected fraudsters, I commenced a search of other areas of his computers where internet fraudsters are known to store documents. Several scam mails were discovered in his computer".

"These document range from documents purported to emanate from Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to Lagos State High Court documents and other e-mails purported to have emanated from Sanusi Lamido's e-mail address," Solademi said.

The defendant, who resides at 3, Konule Ismahel Shodende Street, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos, is facing a four-count charge of fraud and forgery, an offence contrary to Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Vol II Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.

One of the 4-count charges read: : "Awili Victor (a.k.a. Dr. Sanusi Lamido, Mrs Patricio Udoh) on or about the 16th day of October 2008 at Logos within the Ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud had in your possession a document dated 16th October, 2008 contained in your e-mail box captioned "Re: Payment valued at 20,000,000 only purported to have emanated from the Contract Evaluation Committee, The Presidency, Plot 1 05, Federal Secretariat Wuse II, Abuja."

The defendant had on December 13, 2012, been granted bail by the judge, Justice Ebenezer Adebajo, as the lead counsel for the prosecution, Mr Oyedepo Rotimi, told the court that he still had a witness to call in the trial.

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