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Grass-Cutting Scandal: EFCC Presents First Witness Against Babachir Lawal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, opened its case in the ongoing trial of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal, and three others when it presented its first witness, Mohammed Babansule, a relationship manager with the First City Monument Bank, FCMB.

In his examination-in-chief, the witness, who is the account manager of the Sixth defendant, Josmon Technologies Ltd, told the court that the account opening form and other documents submitted to the bank showed that the fourth defendant, Apeh, is the signatory to the account.

In addition, Babansule said the account of Josmon Technologies Ltd which was opened in 2015 was allocated to him in June 2018.

The prosecution counsel, O. I. Uket, thereafter asked the court to admit in evidence, copies of account opening package, Corporate Affairs Commission’s registration forms with copies of the director’s international passport and utility bill.

With no objection from the defence counsel, Justice Agbaza admitted the documents as exhibit 1 to 33 and adjourned the matter to January 21, 2021 for continuation of trial.

Lawal along with his younger brother, Hamidu David Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar; Monday John Apeh and two companies: Rholavision Engineering Ltd., and Josmon Technologies Ltd as standing trial before Justice Charles Agbaza of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Jabi Abuja on a 10-count charge bordering on diversion of funds, criminal conspiracy and official corruption to the tune of N544 million.

The defendants were re-arraigned before Justice Agbaza on November 30, 2020 after the demise of Justice Jude Okeke who had been hearing the matter.

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Crime

Exposed! How O-kash, Opay Now Use Loan Apps To Defraud Nigerians

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Exposed! How O-kash, Opay Now Use Loan Apps To Defraud Nigerians

In recent times, alot of fraudulent activities have been happening in virtually all the financial institutions without the consent of account owners. Many must have been wondering how the fraudsters get their data to scam or hack their accounts.

The latest Information at our disposal has revealed that the new method used by fraudsters to blackmail innocent people in Nigeria now is to develop an app under the guise of giving out loans to people in other to obtain their datas and later use it against them.

One of these self acclaimed microfinance apps which was recently caught in the act is Okash, a loan company under Opay app.

On January 26th 2021, Gbolahan Adetayo downloaded O-kash app and shortly after that, he was offered a loan which he obstinately turned down.

Later in the day, the said victim noticed that there was an unauthorized transaction on his Guaranty Trust Bank account, as sum of N6000 was fraudulently deducted from the Account.

The said GTbank customer was unable to lodge his complain to his Bank because he was out of town. Efforts made to contact his account manager proved abortive as he wasn’t picking up his calls neither did he respond to his emails on time. Days after, precisely on Friday 30th January 2021, another N6000 was fraudulently removed from the same account through the same channel (Opay).

Gbolahan then went to GTbank’s official website to rate the Bank zero. Almost immediately, a representative from GTbank placed a call to him on behalf of the bank.

 

Subsequently, his account officer called back to ask if he actually collected a loan from Opay and the response was capital NO

Without wasting time, he contacted Opay via email which read thus:

“Hello,
On January 26th 2021, a sum of N6000 was illegally removed from my account and after several calls and emails, I was told it was from Opay, probably may be I took a loan from you. Days after, precisely on Friday 30th January, another N6000 was fraudly removed the same account through the same channel kindly rectify this and do the needful.

Opay replied with the below email:

Dear Olakanmi,

Thank you for your email.

We advise that you formally report this matter to your Bank whom we expect would escalate your complaints on your behalf.

Do have a nice day.

Best Regards

Francis I. Orji | Team Member, Fraud Desk, Compliance and Risk Management Unit
Mobile: 2348089142265| Email: francisidohorgi@opay-ctr.com
Address: Alexander House, Otunba Jobi Fele Way, Agidingbi, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos”.

As of then, the victim was already in town and he went to a nearby branch of GTbank to formally inform the authority in charge of his account. His ATM card was first blocked, 3 days after, he got the below email from the bank:

Dear GBOLAHAN OLAKANMI ADETAYO,

Your request (on Fraud/Unauthorised Transaction) has been received and is being attended to.

For reference purposes, we have assigned this ticket number to your request,” 21020920816138″ and your request should be resolved by 11/02/2021 17:17.

If you are not satisfied with the resolution after the time frame provided for this request, please visit our Help Centre and fill the Escalation Form: the GTBank Website >> Help Centre >> Complaints & enquiries >>Escalation form

Thank you for banking with us.

Having sent this, his N12,000 which was fraudly removed wasn’t refunded. He then filled an escalation form and the below email was sent to him thereafter:

Dear GBOLAHAN OLAKANMI ADETAYO,

We write in response to your complaint on the above subject matter.

After receiving your complaint, we reviewed the record of transactions on your account and noted that the disputed sum was withdrawn from your account via local WEB transactions (OPAY). As part of our efforts to prevent future unauthorized transactions, we have gone ahead to block your Naira Master Card.

We contacted the merchant (OPAY) and requested that the disputed transactions be terminated. However, we were informed that the transactions were successful, and service had already been rendered.

Furthermore, our review showed that the disputed transactions were consummated with your card credentials (i.e Primary Account Number, Card Verification Value and Expiry date) which ordinarily should be in your custody. In view of the above, we have reasons to believe that you debit card details might have been inadvertently compromised.

Based on the outcome of our review, we hereby inform you that the Bank is unable to accede to your request for a refund of N12,000

Therefore, we appeal to you to safeguard your card details (particularly while transacting at ATM or POS terminals), disregard any message asking you to update or confirm your banking details and most importantly, do not provide any sensitive banking information to anyone which includes Staff of the Bank. You may wish to contact us via email (e-fraudteam@gtbank.com) for further inquiries.

Thank you.

Gbolahan revealed that his ATM card is always in his purse which he doesn’t toy with.

He then sent several emails to O-kash, up to this moment, none of his mails has been attended to by O-kash.

Meanwhile,ever since he downloaded the O-kash app and supplied his personal details on the app, his bank accounts including social media accounts have been under threat from this unknown fraudsters.

On Friday February 12th, an internet Fraudster contacted Gbolahan with this number 07042601897, he pretended to be a worker at the BVN department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and Adetayo has been selected among the lucky Nigeians to benefit a sum of N55000 covid-19 palliative fund from CBN. The scammer called out Gbolahan’s BVN and his date of birth just to decieve him but he never fell to his tricks.

The following day, another impersonator who claimed to be a staff of Opay called with this number 0813 525 0341 asking for his personal information so as to hack his WhatsApp number but the young man was smart enough to give him wrong Information.

The fraudulent act has however been reported at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Consumer Protection Department (CPD) unit.

All efforts to reach the management of Opay was abortive as of the time of filing this report.

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Gunmen Kill Two Officers In Abia, Set Police Station On Fire

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Police Begin Manhunt For Killers in Plateau
Gunmen Kill Two Officers In Abia, Set Police Station On Fire

At least two police officers were killed when armed men invaded a police station in Aba, Abia State, on Tuesday morning even as Police sources mentioned in a report that an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and a Police Corporal were killed in the attack.

The attackers reportedly broke into a store where arms were kept and carted them away.

The Police have restricted movements around the burnt station, compounding the traffic woes of residents of the estate, the report added.

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Crime

JUST IN: Suspected ‘Yahoo boys’ protest arrest by EFCC

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JUST IN: Suspected ‘Yahoo boys’ protest arrest by EFCC

Scores of suspected internet fraudsters known as ‘Yahoo boys’ on Tuesday morning stormed Ilesha/Osogbo road, Osun State, to protest alleged incessant arrest by Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

The Nation gathered that they went on a rampage by making bonfires on the major road and blocked the Osogbo/Ilesa road.

The protest action rendered motorists using the road to be stranded as no vehicle was allowed to pass.

The protesters alleged that the EFCC operatives in recent time arrested some of their colleagues in a hotel.

The spokesperson of Nigeria Civil Defence Corps, Osun Command, Daniel Adigun confirmed the protest to our correspondent. the Nation

Details Shortly..

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