Ex-convict denied bail in 1.4 million dollar internet fraud case
On Tuesday, an Ikeja Special Offences Court refused to grant bail to ex-convict Kolawole Erinle, who is facing charges of internet fraud totalling 1.4 million dollars. Justice Ramon Oshodi denied the defendant bail, citing his previous criminal record and the possibility that he may not surrender himself for trial if granted bail.
The sureties presented by the defendant’s counsel were also deemed inadequate as they had not been approved by Justice Taiwo before her retirement. As a result, Justice Oshodi denied bail and ordered an accelerated hearing, with the case set to resume on May 15 for the defendant to open his defence.
Erinle is being tried alongside his company, Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Ltd, on charges of conspiracy, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, and obtaining money under false pretences. While Erinle has pleaded not guilty to the charges, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr Temitope Banjo, called the last prosecution witness, Mr Alex Ogbole, an investigator with the commission, who testified against the defendant on Monday.
Ogbole informed the court that the EFCC led the investigation into the alleged crime and that the victim of the fraud, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, had been a victim of Business Email Compromise (BEC). Ogbole further stated that the EFCC had received a petition from the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that revealed the mother of the defendant as a beneficiary of the fraud. The prosecution has accused Erinle and his firm of violating Section 8 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Related Offences, 2006.