A three-man gang that allegedly cloned Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s phone number have been ordered to be remanded in prison custody by an Osogbo magistrate court.
The three suspects were accused of attempting to dupe the Accountant General of the state of N18m with the cloned number of the Osun state governor.
According to the charge sheet made available to CityMirrorNews, the suspects-Timi Gbenro, Oladele Anthony Olutoye and Adeniran Adetayo Esho cloned the governor’s phone number on 17th February, 2016.
Olutoye and Esho had earlier been arrested and arraigned in court last week by Department of Security Service (DSS) last week, Gbenro was said to have escaped arrest.
Both Olutoye and Esho were arraigned before Magistrate Fatimoh Sodemade, who remanded them in the prison custody, and directed their counsel to file a formal application for their bail.
However, Gbenro was later arrested by the DSS, and arraigned in court on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 before Magistrate Olusola Aluko on a three-count charge bothering on conspiracy, impersonation and attempted fraud; same counts his accomplices were slammed with.
According to the prosecution counsel from the State Ministry of Justice, Mr Moses Faremi, the suspects cloned Aregbesola’s phone number and used same to request the sum of N18m from the state Account General to be paid into their bank account.
The first count of the charge sheet obtained by our correspondent in court reads partly: “That you (accused persons) on 17th February, 2016 did commit an offence to wit: impersonation, by cloning the Executive Governor of Osun state, Rauf Aregbesola’s phone number 08024537105 to send text message to the Accountant General of Osun state requesting him to transfer the sum of N18m to your account number 0017854919 sort code 215333358 with Unity Bank.”
Faremi further informed the court that the accused persons attempted to obtain the sum of N18m from Osun state government, by sending false and deceptive text message to the state Accountant General and purporting same to come from Governor Aregbesola.
He stated that the suspects committed offences contrary to and punishable under Sections 484, 422 and 419 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Volume II, laws of Osun state of Nigeria, 2002.
All the accused persons entered a not guilty plea to the charges.
There was no lawyer to represent Gbenro who was weeping bitterly in the court’s dock.
Ruling on the matter, Magistrate Aluko ordered that the persons to be remanded in Ilesa Prison custody, directing them to file a formal bail application before the court.
The case was adjourned till June 6, 2016 for mention.
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