A Nigerian Collins Samuel who obtained $8000 fraudulently as COVID-19 benefit from the U.S. State of Virginia, has been charged.
Justice P. Mallong of the Federal High Court in Kaduna, ordered Samuel’s remand in EFCC custody, after he pleaded ‘not guilty’.
The EFCC Kaduna slammed Samuel with one count of impersonation and obtaining by false pretences.
He was arrested in Jos, Plateau State.
In committing the cyber fraud, Samuel presented himself as Ashley Cooper, an American citizen affected by COVID – 19.
Under the false identity, he obtained $8,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) from Virginia.
Investigation revealed that Collins redeemed the $8,000 benefit through bitcoin wallet addresses he got from various cryptocurrency traders.
Justice Mallong adjourned the case till March 22, for determination of bail application and trial.
Also today, the Kaduna Zonal Office arraigned Precious Bala Musa on a three count charge of internet-related fraud.
He was also arraigned before Justice Mallong.
The defendant was arrested in Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
This followed information which linked him to several fraud cases, including identity theft and obtaining by deception.
He was alleged to have defrauded a victim of $17 000 USD.
Among Bala Musa’s offences was that he hacked the bank account of Irene Hackett
After hacking the account, he siphoned $3,500, violating the Cybercrime ( Prohibition Prevention, Etc) Act, 2015”.
The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge.
This prompted the EFCC counsel, P.C. Onyeneho to ask the court to fix a date for trial.
Onyeneho asked the court to remand Bala Musa in the Correctional Service’s custody pending trial.
Counsel to the defendant, C.J. Nwogu however asked that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody, pending his bail application.
Justice Mallong, remanded the defendant in the custody of the EFCC.
He then adjourned the case till 18 March for hearing of bail application.