The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned a social media influencer, Adedamola Adewale, also known as Adeherself, before the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja over an alleged N7.9 million internet fraud.
The EFCC arraigned the comedian before Justice Mojisola Dada on three counts of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretences, attempt to obtain money by false pretences, and retention of proceeds of criminal conduct.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
During the proceedings, the EFCC counsel, Samuel Daji, informed the court that the defendant was first arraigned before Justice Sherifat Solebo, who had since retired from the bench, and the case has now been reassigned.
The counsel also said there was a need for a proper bail application to be filed by the defence before the defendant could be released from custody.
“My lord, this case was heard before Justice Sherifat Solebo before she retired, and when it was transferred to this honourable court, I informed my learned friend that the case would be coming up on January 25,” he argued.
“He said he thought it was the day before. This is a matter that is starting before your lordship, and we do not know if the sureties, who stood for her earlier, are dead or not. It is proper for the defence to apply afresh for bail before your lordship.”
But the defence counsel, Kassim Molade, pleaded with the court to allow his client to continue to enjoy the bail granted by Justice Solebo, pending when he would file a new bail application.
Molade maintained that the defendant has not been absent from court since the start of the trial and that she is ready to make herself available for practice.
“We passionately urge your lordship to allow the defendant to continue to enjoy the bail given to her by the sister court.
“The reason we were not here on January 25 is that prosecution did not get back to me. I assure your lordship that before the close of today, I will rush to the sister court to get a copy of the ruling on the bail application,” he said.
The judge consequently ordered that the defendant should continue to enjoy the terms of the earlier bail pending the filing of a new bail application by the defence counsel.
Justice Dada also ordered the defendant to produce her statement of account within three weeks failing which she would be remanded in prison.
The EFCC alleged that the defendant and two others, Lasisi Adeleke and Sodiq Adeleke, still at large, with intent to defraud, attempted to obtain $6,000 from one Mr Joseph Rumoro on the pretext that the money was meant for procurement of his passport and visa as well as a tax payment.
The commission also alleges that Adewale retained in her bank account proceeds of cybercrime to the tune of N7.9 million.
The alleged offences contravene Sections 8(a) and 1(3), 8(b) and 1(3) and 17 (a) and (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences, 2006.
The judge has adjourned the case to April 18 for the commencement of trial.