Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has remanded Bisong James Oyen, a fake employment officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in prison custody.
Oyen was arraigned by the EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office on Thursday, June 13, 2019 on a two-count charge bordering on forgery and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 1 (2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007, and punishable under Section 1 (2) of the same Act. One of the count charges read:
“That you, Bisong James Oyen, on or about 11th December, 2018 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court did forge Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Appointment letter and delivered same to Talbort Young for employment with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine, a pretext which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007, and punishable under section 1 (2) of the same Act”.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges when read to him. In view of his plea, Prosecution Counsel, Esin-Otu Ebipade urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of hearing. The defendant was not represented by any Counsel. Justice Omotosho adjourned the matter to June 18, 2019 for hearing and ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.
Oyen got into troubles when a petitioner alleged that, sometimes in April 2018, he logged into the EFCC’s web address, in a bid to apply for a job but could not get through the application. However, he allegedly received a call from one Alex (Kalu Patrick Ikechukwu), now at large, that he should send his document to an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org and pay some money into an account number of one of the new generation banks.
The petitioner allegedly got an assurance, after paying the money, that he would receive an Appointment Letter that would qualify him for training by the EFCC. After waiting for a while without any communication from the EFCC, he reported the matter for investigations and the results showed that Oyen was neither a bonafide employment officer of the EFCC nor authorized to receive any payment from any member of the public on behalf of the Commission.
In the same vein, Kelvin Ogbonna was arraigned before Justice J. K Omotosho on a two-count charge bordering on false pretences. One of the count charges read: “That you, Kelvin Ogbonna on or about 12th February 2019, in Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this honourable court had in your possession (your email address: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org) documents containing false pretence which you knew or ought to know contains false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offence Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3). He pleaded not guilty to the charges when read to him. In view of his plea, Prosecuting Counsel, Esin-Otu Ebipade prayed the court to fix a date for commencement of trial. However, defense counsel, B. M Mgbamoka did not oppose the prayers of the prosecuting counsel nor sued for the bail of his client.
Justice Omotosho adjourned the matter to June 18, 2019 and ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody for commencement of trial. Ogbonna’s troubles started when the EFCC acted on some intelligence concerning his alleged impersonation, possession of scam documents and internet fraud and arrested him accordingly. However, investigation showed that he was in possession of one apple iphone 6S and Hewlett Packard (HP) Pavilion Laptop, all of which contained false documents.