BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
A 29-year-old man, Aremu Olabamiji, has been arrested by men of the Osun State Police Command for allegedly fleecing a foreigner and two Nigerians on social media.
The alleged internet fraudster was said to have been on the police watch list after two of his victims, who are Nigerians, reported his dubious acts at a station in Osogbo.
After trailing him for some weeks, the police said they later tracked down the suspect and arrested him at the branch of a commercial bank while he was making withdrawals.
According to the police, Olabamiji posed like a lady on Instagram to a foreigner identified as Weston Dictson and duped him of the sum of $800.
It was also alleged that the suspect displayed a damaged i-phone online for sale and sold the same to one woman named Mulikat Yusuf, for N209, 000.
In addition, Olabamiji was accused of obtaining a wristwatch valued at N9, 000 from a teenager, Muftau Naheem Olaide, under the pretense that he would buy it but failed to pay.
The suspect also allegedly claimed to be an operative of the Department of State Security when the police were on his trail.
Olabamiji was arraigned before an Osogbo Magistrate’s court on six counts of fraud, stealing and impersonation.
The charge against him reads in parts that “You (Aremu Olabamiji), on October 21, 2021 at Wema Bank, Station Road, Osogbo, did use your condemned i-phone to deceive and obtain the sum of N209, 000 through your Wema Bank account number 0249601123 from one Yusuf Mulika with the pretense to sell the phone whereas, you know the phone is damaged beyond repair.
“That Olabamiji, sometimes in the month of October, 2021, at Ago Wande area, Osogbo, did deceive and obtain one smart watch valued at N9,000 from one Muftau Naheem Olaide with the promise to pay on delivery but after receiving the said watch, you refused to pay and also refused to return the watch.”
Police prosecutor, Inspector Kayode Adeoye, added that the defendant “falsely represented himself as a woman named Harry David and used same to defraud a white man named Weston Dictson to the tune of $800 equivalent to the sum of N212, 000.
Adeoye added that the accused person conducted himself in a manner to cause breach of peace by impersonating and introducing himself as an official of the DSS to police officers.
According to the police, Olabamiji defrauded the three victims of the sum of N430, 000.
The prosecutor said that the defendant committed offences contrary to and punishable under Sections 419, 390(9), 484, and 249(d) of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Volume II Laws of Osun, 2002.
However, Olabamiji pleaded not guilty to the six counts, while his counsel, T. B. Ayodele, urged the court to grant him bail.
The prosecutor objected to the bail application on the grounds that the defendant did not have a feasible home address and that it took the police many efforts to track him down.
Magistrate O. A. Daramola granted the accused person bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in the same amount.
One of the sureties, he said, must be a civil servant not below grade level 12 and must submit his or her international passport to the court while the other surety must be a house owner within the court’s jurisdiction with three-year-tax clearance.
Olabamiji was remanded at the Ilesa Correctional Centre pending the January 12, 2022 adjourned hearing date as he was unable to meet the bail conditions.