Legal Nigeria

Judge’s Transfer Stalls Trial of 19-year-old Cybercrime Kingpin in Ekiti

By Victor Ogunje

The transfer of the presiding Judge of the Federal High Court in Ado- Ekiti, Ekiti State, Justice Uche Agomoh, yesterday stalled the trial of a 19 –year-old cybercrime kingpin, David Oritsegbeyiwa Ofoeyeno.

Ofoeyeno allegedly defrauded some girls by bullying and threatening them with their nude videos.

Four witnesses, three of which were Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti(ABUAD) female students and victims of Ofoeyeno cyber tricks, and the Director of Students’ Affairs of the university, were expected to testify against the suspect yesterday.

Ofoeyeno, a 300- level student of Media and Communication Studies in ABUAD, was being tried for allegedly defrauding students of the university and other institutions by displaying their nude videos, which he acquired through tricks and handiworks of other syndicates.

When the matter, which has reached a witness stage, came up yesterday, Justice Agomoh announced to the court that she has been transferred to Ibadan, the Oyo State Division of the Federal High Court.

The Jurist said: “Let me announce to this court that I have been transferred, and I have just two days more to spend here in this judicial division.

“The prosecution has four witnesses lined up for today (yesterday), and if I should begin with the trial, I can’t take all the four and there would be adjournment, so it is better to adjourn this case so that probably the case can be taken over by another Judge.”

After the prosecution and defence counsel had consented to the position canvassed by the Judge, Justice Ugomoh adjourned the case to April 22, 2021, for witnesses to testify in the matter.

The prosecution was being midwifed by Akin Fadeyi Foundation in collaboration with ABUAD.

The Ofoeyeno’s prosecution commenced in 2020, after receiving litany of complaints from some students that the accused person had extorted millions of naira from them through threat, that he was in possession of their nude videos, and that he could upload them on social media platforms.

The 19-year-old was discovered to be the kingpin of a cyber-bully cartel across tertiary institutions in Nigeria, following six months of covert investigations carried out in the university, following a complaint on the foundation’s Flagit app.

Ofoeyeno was docked on a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit a felony with cyber fraud, attempt to defraud, impersonation, threat to expose nudes and cyber-stalking among others.

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