The Police Force Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department of the Police on Monday charged three men before a Federal High Court, Lagos, over alleged cybercrime and the impersonation of President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Aisha.
The accused are: Julius Anyawu, a. k. a Musa Mohammed, 48; Kenneth Ezeonu a. k. a Abdul Karim, 45; and George Agu a .k. a Dr Lina Norman, 48.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the accused, who were arraigned on 16 counts bordering on cybercrime, had no legal representatives.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges. After their pleas, the prosecutor, Mr Benson Asogwa, urged the court to remand the accused in prison and fix a date for trial.
Justice Babs Kiewumi, consequently, adjourned the case until January 18 for trial. The court, however, ordered that the accused be remanded in prison pending trial.
In the charge, the prosecution alleged that the accused conspired with others who are now at large to commit the offences on August 8 at No. 10, Hassan Idowu St., Aguda, Surulere, Lagos.
They were said to have been arrested by CP Dan Okoro, Head of Anti – Fraud Unit in Alagbon, in Lagos.
They were said to have forged electronic messages to one Engr. Gmenezes, with the tag Attention: Geraldo Francisco Menezes, purporting same to be sent by his Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, and Mrs Aisha Buhari.
The message was said to be labelled: IMMEDIATE PAYMENT OF NOTIFICATION of 20. 5 million dollars (equivalent of N7.4 billion).
They were also alleged to have sent electronic messages to one Madaule, with the tag Attention: Dr Guenter Schauer purporting same to be sent by President Buhari and the First Lady.
They were said to have requested for a special arrangement to send them funds by direct cash payment through ECOWAS headquarters in Cotonou.
The accused were also alleged to have sent false electronic messages to UBA Bank, purporting same to be sent by their Excellencies, for immediate payment notification of 20. 5 million dollars.
The offences contravened the provisions of sections 14 (1), 14 (2), 14 (3) and 22 of the Cybercrime Prohibition Act, 2015.