Court remands UNIPORT undergraduate for Internet fraud

The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Tuesday, remanded a 25-year-old undergraduate of the University of Port Harcourt, Sunday Noble, in a correctional centre for impersonation and obtaining money by false pretences.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, arraigned Noble on four counts bordering on fraud and obtaining by false pretences.

Noble was arrested by the EFCC based on actionable intelligence over his alleged fraudulent activities.

Investigation by the anti-graft agency indicated that the defendant presented himself as Ryan Murray, a Florida, United States-based contractor, on Facebook.

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It was learnt that the accused used the false identity to defraud his victims, identified as Julie Fink and Mary Real.

Apart from the iPhone 7, which Fink was said to have sent to him, the suspect also obtained $5,886.91 from the victim.

The charges read in part, “That you, Sunday Deele Noble, on or about February 13, 2019, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did fraudulently obtain an iPhone 7 worth $319.84 with shipping cost of $14.69 through FedEx Shippers from Julie Fink, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 1(2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”

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The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Based on his plea, the prosecuting counsel, E. G. Omeje, urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.

However, the defence counsel, F. E. Enigwe, orally moved an application for the bail of the defendant, which was opposed by the prosecution counsel.

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Justice Obile ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre pending the determination of the bail application, while the matter was adjourned till April 6, 2020.

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