The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned a popular Nigerian social media influencer, Adedamola Rukayat (a.k.a Adeherself), before Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Special Offence Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on a one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.
The commission said it arrested Adeherself, 20, following information on the activities of some young men allegedly involved in internet fraud in the Lekki axis of Lagos State.
Adeherself who is also a model, presenter, skit maker boasts over 192,000 followers on Instagram.
The count read, “That you, Adewale Adedamola Rukayat, on or about the 15th day of June 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, had in your possession documents titled “WhatsApp”, which representations you knew or ought to have known, was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 (8) (b) and 1 (3) (d) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006.
She pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of her plea, prosecution counsel, S.O. Daji, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed that she be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCS.
The defence counsel informed the court of a bail application for his client and also prayed for a short date to enable its hearing.
Justice Solebo adjourned the matter to July 13 for the hearing of the bail application and also ordered the defendant to be remanded in the EFCC custody.
The development comes on the heels of the arrest of Instagram celebrity, Hushpuppi, by police authorities in Dubai for alleged cyber-fraud.
According to the EFCC, Adeherself was arrested alongside four alleged internet fraudsters, for their alleged involvement in internet-related fraud on June 16. The suspects were apprehended in different areas of Lagos during a raid by operatives.
While Adeherself, and her alleged accomplice, Lamina Hamzat Ajibola, were arrested at the Agungi area of Lekki, Lagos State, the trio of Israel Onyebuchi, Emmanuel Olayode and Valentine Nwokorie were picked up at the Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State.
The commission said their arrest was a sequel to “intelligence” linking them to alleged online fraudulent activities with two brothers, Lasisi Wasiu Adeleke and Lasisi Riliwan Adeniyi, who are at large. They were arrested at a four-bedroom duplex belonging to the two run-away suspects.
The anti-graft agency said, “During interrogation, Adeherself confessed to being a picker” in cybercrimes. He usually poses as a lady to hoodwink her foreign “preys”.Items recovered from the suspects include two Toyota Camry 2009 model cars, and a sum of N9 million (Nine Million Naira, only), which was found in Adewale’s account.
“The other suspects; Onyebuchi, Olayode, and Nwokorie were arrested for their alleged involvement in a romance scam. They were arrested during another raid, following a separate intelligence.
“Investigations revealed that Nwokorie was posing as a female American citizen and sending photos as a porn star to defraud his victim while Onyebuchi was engaging in a love scam as well as forging foreign cheques”.
Jayne Augoye is an assistant editor and covers the entertainment and lifestyle beat for PREMIUM TIMES. She has a master's degree in Media and Communication from the Pan Atlantic University. Twitter: @jaynejones