The Federal High Court in Lagos State has arraigned an alleged seven-man fraud syndicate for allegedly hacking into a server named ‘payvice’, an electronic platform of ITEX Integrated Services Limited, and stealing N435.3m.
Members of the alleged syndicate including Aderuku Adedayo, Adigun Benjamin, Awopetu Tosin, Ajibade Ayomide, Ojo Olwaseun, Miller Oluwafemi, Olaleye Samuel and Ajibade Ayodeyi, were arraigned before the court presided over by Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa, by men of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) Annex, Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos,
The defendants are facing charges bordering on conspiracy, hacking, stealing and fraud preferred against them by the police.
The prosecutor, Morufu Animashaun, told the court that the defendants conspired among themselves and others now at large to commit the offences on September 7, 2022, at 1E, Sinari Daranijo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
He said the defendants jointly hacked the company’s server and defrauded the company of different sums amounting to N435, 386, 699. 99.
The prosecutor told the court that the first defendant benefitted the sum of N29.9m, while the second defendant received N51m, with the third and fourth defendants benefitting N19m and N20m respectively from the alleged fraudulent acts.
The prosecutor also told the court that the fifth to eighth defendants benefitted from the sums of N13m, N3m, N13m and N20m respectively.
He said the first, second, third, seventh and eighth defendants, after the alleged fraud, transferred parts of the money to some people in different banks.
According to Animashaun, the offences committed contravened Sections 8(a), 1(1)(a), 2(a) and 7(2)(b)of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following the defendants’ not-guilty plea, the prosecutor asked the court to remand them till the determination of the charges against them.
However, the defendants’ counsel, F. F. Abisagbo, told the court that he had filed his clients’ bail application and the same had been served on the prosecution.
The prosecutor, however, told the court that he had not been served with the application.
The court also confirmed that the defendants’ bail application was not before the court.
Consequently, Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa ordered that the defendants be remanded in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Services, and adjourned the case till April 27, for the commencement of trial.