NANS Director of Logistics jailed for N195m internet fraud

….Ex-students’ union leaders reacts

THE Director of Logistics of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Adeyemi Israel Abiodun, has been convicted and jailed for internet-related fraud.

Abiodun, a student of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is among 40 persons convicted on separate one-count charges before four judges of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan.

Their offences bordered on impersonation, obtaining money under false pretence, obtaining property by false pretence and forgery, contrary to Sections 419, 467, 484, 508, and 516 of the Criminal Code Law Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.

The other convicts are Yekeen Azeez Ishola, Okeniyi Samuel Akiniyi, Theophilus Ademola Bukola, Salami Mohammed Adetayo, Pelumi Ajayi Temiloluwa, Lawal Abdullateef Olalekan, Okusanwo Mayowa Daniel, Oluwole Oluwasegun Ayomide, Adedotun Omodele Yusuf, Monday Nnaemeka Samuel, Idowu Adeshina, Olowe Nifemi Ayomide, Adubu Olamiotan Sunday, Kehinde Olatunji Kehinde, Oguntuase Tope Francis, Elijah Isaac Wisdom, Ogbanaya Chukwu Chukwu, Adekola Adekunle, Odebode Temiloluwa Kehinde, Joseph Odunayo Clement, and Andrew Adekunle Masika.

Others include Usman Mubarak Damilare, Isiaka Olumide Hammed, Uawu Osita Henry, Kareem Afeez Alabi and Ogunyemi Ayobami Samuel, Mimiola Victor Olamide, Adeeko Kolade Emmanuel, Egberongbe Adedayo Quam, Oyelaran Olayiwola Jeremiah, Hammed Rilwan Ishola, Adefowora Omotayo David, Adedeji Ibrahim Olamilekan, Emmanuel Timileyin Akinbowale, Michael Damola Olanrewaju, Ayanyemi Olaide Samuel, Boye Timilehin Emmanuel, Timileyin Ajibola Idowu and Azeez Tolulope Ayoade.

Abiodun was arraigned before Justice Iyabo Yerima while thirty-nine others were prosecuted before Justices Bayo Taiwo, Akintola Ladiran and Olusola Adetujoye between August 15, 2022 and August 23, 2022.

 The one-count charge against Abiodun reads: “That you, Adeyemi Israel Abiodun and Odaise Precious Abiola (aka Prezzy) (at large) on or about 30th March, 2022 at Ibadan, within the Ibadan Judicial Division did conspire to forge various United States of America Banks Cheques and purport same to be genuine and thereby committed the offence of conspiracy to commit forgery contrary to Section 516 and 467 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.”

Abiodun and the others pleaded guilty to the charges filed against them by the EFCC. Consequently, Abiodun, Daniel and Ayomide were convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment each without the option of fine, while Akiniyi bagged three months jail term and six months community service. Other defendants were convicted and sentenced to six months community service each.

Furthermore, the court ordered Abiodun to pay the sum of $1,000USD (One Thousand United States Dollars) in restitution and forfeit a white Mercedes Benz CLA-250 with customised NANS plate number worth N16million, a gold neck chain and one ice neck chain worth N3.6million, bitcoin worth $58,854.88USD, one Apple MacBook Pro 2020 Model and an iPhone 12 Pro Max to the Federal Government of Nigeria. Other convicts were ordered to restitute their victims and forfeit all items recovered from them.

Abiodun, a 200 level student of Economics and Development Studies, FUOYE it was gathered was arrested on March, 30, 2022, alongside 79 others in a sting operation by the operatives of the Ibadan Zonal Command of the EFCC at Sango area of Ibadan, Oyo State for alleged internet fraud.

Investigations revealed that between July 2021 and March 2022, Abiodun benefited N195,274,331.00 as cumulative heist from cyber-fraud involving forgery of over 25 US banks cheques.

Reacting to the news of the conviction, former General Secretary, Lagos State University Students’ Union (LASUSU) Sanyaolu Aderemi aka Advocate said “it has degenerated far worse than this. NANS is not about students representation anymore, it’s now for pocket infrastructure that is why even people who are not students win NANS election with the backing of comrades who have left school several years ago but are still parading themselves as nans comrade.”

“I know some of them who left school even before I gained admission, they are still claiming comrades, even steering electoral, caretaker committee of NANS. On the streets of Lagos, I have seen several cars belonging to yahoo boys, (some have never been to any tertiary institution) with NANS plate numbers. Alot has gone wrong and I must tell you NANS ti lule,” he added. 

Corroborating Sanyaolu, a former LASU Student Parliamentary Council (LASU-SPC) member, the legislative arm of the Students’ Union, Gbenga Lambo, told NaijaTimes “these cyber criminals parade themselves around Ojo Local Government Area,  Lagos very well and claim to be students of LASU but they are not.” 

    “I once asked a friend who works with the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) that know one among them if  they were LASU students and he said that those guys are not authentic students but has the backing of old comrade’s who installed them to covered their mess on the street of Lagos,” he added.

On his part, another former student union leader in LASU, Ojo Yishau said, “Tele nko, awon omo yahoo ati awon corperate agbero lo  dominate NANS lowolowo (Before nko, yahoo boys and corporate street urchins now run the affairs of NANS). Na agbero boys dey cruise around with NANS vehicle plate numbers this day.”

Former Speaker of LASU-SPC, Ayodele Olatunde aka FBI said, “I’m not surprised though and do not expect any to be. The so called NANS has long time lost its efficacious hold on students with fake number plates and aged people contesting for positions.

 “The worse of it all is the connivance and conspiracy to have govt-favorite candidates as executive officers, with no pedigree. No tangible press positions let alone sound protest against bad policies. All the so called executives do is to dine and wine with govt officials for parochial interest. What an embarrassment to the students race,” he stated

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