By Martin Iyonguvihi
A 23-year-old man, Friday Daniel Owoicho, and a 13-year-old boy, Thank-God Bello were arraigned Tuesday by the Benue Police Command for allegedly hacking into the Facebook account of Major General Gabriel Ochigbano, while extorting money from unsuspecting members of the public, interested in securing a job with the Nigerian Army, Navy and Custom.
The first defendant, Owoicho, of Adoka, Otukpo Local Government of Benue State, and second defendant, Bello of Benin City, Edo State were arrested in Benin City and arraigned before a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court for criminal conspiracy, identity theft and internet related fraud, contrary to Section 97, Benue State Law 2004 and Sections 22 and 14 of the Cyber Crimes Prohibition and Prevention Act 2015.
According to the prosecutor, Inspector Joshua Anymabaga, the case was reported “On the 11/10/2022, at about 11:30hrs at the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) of the Nigeria Police, State Headquarters, Makurdi by, Ochigbano Eche alleging that, unknown person’s hacked FACE-BOOK account of his brother; Major General Gabriel Ochigbano of Defence Headquarters, impersonating the Major General.
“That the hacker also opened an account with Access Bank with account number 1669071408 bearing the name Gabriel Ochigbano and was deceiving unsuspecting members of the public who are interested to join the Nigeria Army, Navy: and Customs to contact him and had also given the account to some persons that indicated interest to pay various sums of money into the account.”
The prosecutor told the court that Police investigation led to the arrest of one Friday Peter Daniel Owoicho ‘m’ aged 23-years-old of Ogodumu Adoka, Otukpo Local Government Area and Thank-God Bello ‘m’ aged 13-years-old of No. 38, Ogida avenue Siloko road, Benin City, Edo state for committing the crime.
No plea for want of jurisdiction was taken when the defendants were arraigned in court as the prosecutor applied for an adjournment to complete investigation in the matter.
Ruling on the application, the Magistrate, Kadoon Gbasha Esq. adjourned the case to January 5, 2023 for further mention and ordered that the first defendant be remanded at the Nigeria Correctional Facility, Makurdi while the second defendant be remanded at the juvenile home in Gboko.