EFCC Arraigns Alleged Hacker For N17.8 Million Fraud Against FCMB

Israel Adeleke

The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned a suspected hacker, Michael Onimisi, before the Federal High Court in Kaduna for allegedly defrauding First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB) of N17.8 million using a software code he developed.

Onimisi, who is the sole proprietor of Ohoiza Crafts, was charged with six counts of internet fraud and money laundering on October 13, 2023, before Justice R.M Aikawa.

According to the charge sheet, Onimisi developed a software code-named: “Bee-Leaf” and “Real-Eve” to bypass the security measures of the bank and transfer N17,785,010.75 from the bank’s account to his own account between June 1 and June 22, 2023.

The EFCC said “Trouble started for the defendant when the Kaduna Zonal Command of the EFCC, received a petition from First City Monument Bank Plc, dated June 23, 2023, alleging that the defendant, sole proprietor of Ohoiza Crafts, hacked into the bank system, and fraudulently withdrew money amounting to N17, 785,010.75 from the account of the bank, and transferred it to his account.”

One of the counts reads: “That you, Michael Anan Onimisi, sometime in June 2023, in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did directly retained the total sum of N17, 785,010.75 (Seventeen Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty-Five Thousand, Ten Naira and Seventy-Five Kobo only), from First City Monument Bank Plc, which funds you knew forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(2)(d)of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2022 and punishable under Section 18(3) of the same Act”.

The defendant however pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The prosecution counsel, N. Salele, asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendant in a correctional centre pending trial.

However, the defence counsel, Rabiu Mohammed, filed a bail application on behalf of his client and asked the court to grant him bail on liberal terms.

The prosecution counsel opposed the bail application and requested for more time to respond to it.

Justice Aikawa however adjourned the case till October 19, 2023, for hearing on the bail application and December 6, 2023, for commencement of trial.

He also ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Kaduna.

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