The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Tuesday, remanded a 25-year-old student of the University of Port Harcourt, Sunday Noble, in a correctional centre for impersonation and obtaining money by false pretences.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, arraigned Noble on four counts bordering on fraud and obtaining by false pretences.
Noble was arrested by the EFCC based on actionable intelligence over his alleged fraudulent activities.
Investigation by the anti-graft agency indicated that the defendant presented himself as Ryan Murray, a Florida, United States-based contractor, on Facebook.
It was learnt that the accused used the false identity to defraud his victims, identified as Julie Fink and Mary Real.
Apart from the iPhone 7, which Fink was said to have sent to him, the suspect also obtained $5,886.91 from the victim.
The charges read in part, “That you, Sunday Deele Noble, on or about February 13, 2019, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did fraudulently obtain an iPhone 7 worth $319.84 with shipping cost of $14.69 through FedEx Shippers from Julie Fink, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 1(2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Based on his plea, the prosecuting counsel, E. G. Omeje, urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.
However, the defence counsel, F. E. Enigwe, orally moved an application for the bail of the defendant, which was opposed by the prosecution counsel.
Justice Obile ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre pending the determination of the bail application, while the matter was adjourned till April 6, 2020.
Meanwhile, the Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta codenamed, Operation Delta Safe, has arrested the Chairman of the Independent Marketers, Warri branch, Famous Umukoro, for his alleged involvement in illegal oil bunkering.
Umukoro was arrested alongside one Rudolf Chukwunalu by the personnel of the Sector 1, Operation Delta Safe, in Effurun, Delta State, and he and his accomplice were handed over to the EFCC.
Chukwunalu was said to have been arrested while pumping stolen petroleum product from a barge into a truck and selling same to Umukoro.
A statement issued on Tuesday by the EFCC read, “The Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the EFCC has commenced investigation into an alleged illegal oil bunkering case involving Mr Umukoro, Chairman, Independent Marketers, Warri branch, and one Rudolf Chukwunalu.
“Chukwunalu was arrested by officers of the Sector 1, Operation Delta Safe, Effurun, Delta State. According to the handover notice by Operation Delta Safe, the suspect was apprehended on February 21, 2020, while pumping suspected stolen crude oil from a barge into a DAF truck with number plate, Delta PTN 353 XA, at the Ugbolokposo jetty, Warri.
“Under questioning, Chukwunalu claimed that he bought the crude oil from a sailor at the Yingi Yard, along the Enerhen River, and intended to sell the product to Famous Umukoro, who allegedly paid him N280,000 to enable him to load the product into the truck.”
The EFCC added that its officials had collected the sample of the product for analysis by the Department of Petroleum Resources.
The suspects, according to the commission, will be charged at the end of the ongoing investigation.