By Tony Orilade, Ag. Head, Media & Publicity, EFCC
The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on July 2, 2019, arraigned a suspected serial fraudster, Scales Ishola, before Justice A.A. Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on a 45-count charge bordering on impersonation, obtaining by false pretence, conspiracy and fraud.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Scales Olatunji Ishola ‘M’, Meraiyebu Charles ‘M’ (at large), Gabriel Adeyemi Olugbenga ‘M’ (at large), Ojomo Oluwatobi Ayodele ‘M’ (at large) and Adekola Oluwatoyin (at large), between January 2017 to October 2018, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, did knowingly cause the loss of N525,172,580 (Five Hundred and Twenty-five Million, One Hundred and Seventy-two Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty Naira) only, being property of the government and people of Norway and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14 (2) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under the same Section.”
Scales, along with his accomplices who are currently at large, specialized in impersonating people and using their identity to defraud unsuspecting victims by sending various business emails with fake identities and duping them of several millions in various currencies.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
In view of his plea, counsel for the EFCC, Nwandu Ukoha, prayed the court to remand him in prison and fix a date for commencement of trial.
The court had on July 1, 2019, granted an application made by the prosecution seeking for an interim forfeiture of properties belonging to them. The properties include, House No. 6, Road 2 Westend Estate, Ikota Lekki, Lagos State, and House No. 10, Donatus Odum Street, Ikate, Lagos State.
The matter was thereafter adjourned to October 16, 2019, for hearing of bail application.