Three men accused of hacking the Facebook account of the Lagos Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa and who allegedly stole N9.1 million, were on Monday re-arraigned before Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of a Federal High Court, Lagos.
The accused — Frank Nwokobia, 27; Ezeoke Kanayochukwu, 25; and Godwin Essien, 28 — are standing trial on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud, impersonation and identity theft.
The trio had earlier been arraigned before vacation judge, Chuka Obiozor, in September.
The accused are being prosecuted by the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), who alleged that the men hacked the Facebook account Mr. Obasa and stole N9.1 million.
At their re-arraignment on Monday, the Prosecutor, William Ologun, informed the court of the charge against the accused and urged the court to take fresh pleas.
The accused denied the charge. Their lawyers – Elvis Keshi and A. C. Nwajiugo – urged the court to admit them to bail on liberal terms.
Their bail applications were not opposed by the police.
Consequently, Justice Oguntoyinbo admitted them to bails in the sum of N5 million each with a surety each.
The judge ordered each surety to deposit the title documents and Certificates of Occupancy of their landed property with the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar.
They are also to provide three years tax clearance, while the surety’s official and residential addresses as well as their phone numbers should be verified by the prosecutor.
She adjourned trial until November 28.
According to the charge, the accused sometime in May, hacked Mr. Obasa’s Facebook account and retrieved information with which they withdrew the alleged sum from his Guaranty Trust Bank’s account.
After the speaker reported the incident to the police, the accused were arrested at different locations in Delta.
The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 27(1), (b) and 22(2), (b), (ii) of the Cybercrimes Prohibition and Prevention Act, Laws of the Federation 2015.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999