By Louise Jobe
Thirteen alleged scammers were on Tuesday 19th April 2022, arraigned before Magistrate Sowe of the Brikama Magistrate’s Court on three charges. The thirteen who are all Nigerian nationals comprise eleven males and two females.
When the charges were read to them in the English language, they all said they understood what was being read to them and decided to take their pleas of not guilty on all Counts.
The Inspector-General of Police was represented by Corporal Bangura while Lawyer Edward A. Gomez appeared for the thirteen accused persons, who were all present in Court.
The accused persons were Ezechukwu Harrison; Victor Chiemerie; Chukwu Chibunna Wisdom; Okafor Akwell Chidera; Madu Chidiebbere Temple; Madu Chidera Stanley; Godson Ifeanyi; Ibeagi Ebube; Madu Victor Chiagbanwe; Clement Ndubuisi; Lawrence Kenneth; Atake Rita Ebaeta and Ogun Jale Timileyin.
On Count One, the thirteen were charged with Conspiracy to defraud contrary to section 292 of the Criminal Code.
According to the particulars of offence on this Count, the thirteen accused persons in March 2022 at Old Yundum and diverse places in the Republic of the Gambia, jointly conspired amongst themselves to commit a felony.
On Count Two, the thirteen accused persons were charged with unlawful possession of devices and data contrary to Section 168 (3) and (4) of the Information and Communication Act. According to the particulars of offence on this Count, the thirteen accused persons in March 2022 at Old Yundum and diverse places, had in their possession nineteen mobile phones and eighteen laptops of various brands with intention to use same for the commission of an offence, without lawful excuse.
On Count Three, they were charged with computer-related extortion, fraud and forgery contrary to Section 173 (2) and (3) of the Information and Communication Act. According to the particulars of offence on this count, the thirteen accused persons in March 2022 at Old Yundum and diverse places in the Republic of the Gambia, were in possession of twelve Nigerian passports, nineteen mobile phones and eighteen laptops, for the purpose of making or producing fake data, thereby committed an offence.
The lawyer for the accused person Counsel Edward Gomez, applied for bail on behalf of the accused persons but the bail application was opposed by Police prosecutor Corporal Bangura, who submitted that it was not safe to grant the accused person bail because the Immigration Department is still investigating them, because the accused persons entered the country illegally. Corporal Bangura told the Court that granting the accused person bail will jeopardize ongoing investigations into their case saying that the accused persons can jump bail, if it is granted to them.
At this juncture, trial Magistrate Sowe, denied all accused person bail and ordered for them to be remanded in custody.
The case was adjourned to Thursday 28th April 2022.