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A Nigerian, Wiseman Oputa, living in Texas, United States has been jailed for three years by a federal judge in Houston.

The 25-year-old had pleaded guilty to a $1.3 million wire fraud in April, using fake passports and romance schemes.

Investigators said Oputa used counterfeit passports to open bank accounts in the Houston area.

The passports had his photo but different names and identification.

Prosecutors said he then lured online victims into sending money to those accounts.

The scams ranged from bogus business deals and romance offers to false reports of money won and taxes needing to be paid to acquire the winnings.

Along with restitution, Oputa also will face deportation proceedings when he leaves prison.

Here was the statement issued by US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Texas, outlining the case against Oputa: A 25-year-old Nigerian man who was residing in Houston has pleaded guilty to perpetuating a wire fraud scheme involving various Internet scams, announced Acting US Attorney Abe Martinez.

Wiseman Oputa pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Beginning January 1, 2016, until January 25, 2017, Oputa used counterfeit passports to open bank accounts in the greater Houston area.

The passports contained photographs of Oputa but had different names and identification information. He then worked with others to lure victims into sending money into these bank accounts.

These funds were obtained through a variety of internet scams, including business email compromise, romance schemes and unauthorised intrusions into company email accounts. Checks or wire transfers were then sent from the company’s accounts payable to accounts Oputa or others controlled. Oputa would then use the counterfeit passports to retrieve the fraudulently obtained funds.

In one instance in December 2016, Oputa opened an account at Regions Bank with a counterfeit Ghanaian passport as identification. Shortly thereafter the account received a wire transfer of $40,000 from a victim who had been told to send money for taxes on money he had won in Spain. USAA Bank identified the fraudulent and was able to recal the wire.

U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett accepted the guilty plea and has set sentencing for July 6, 2017. At that time, Oputa faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation along with Department of State – Diplomatic Security Service and the Secret Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady is prosecuting the case.

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BIG STORY

Osun Guber: Don’t Kill Yourselves Over Who Becomes Governor, Only God Gives Power — Ooni Of Ife

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The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has warned youths against political violence before, during and after the Osun gubernatorial election coming up on Saturday.

Oba Ogunwusi gave the warning during the courtesy visit of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Iyiola Omisore to his Palace, on Thursday, in Ile-Ife.

He said: “It is only Almighty Allah that has the power to elevate whoever He wants to the post. For He is in Heaven doing what pleases Him”.

According to him, people don’t need to fight each other over getting to a post, but should rather allow God’s will to come into perfection.

The royal father, therefore, appealed to all and sundry to maintain peaceful coexistence in the forthcoming election, saying there is no gain in blood shedding.

Earlier, Omisore lauded the Ooni for his fatherly role and for supporting his aspirations to rule the state.

Omisore also thanked Ife and Osun indigenes, for rallying around him in his campaign and appealed to all and sundry to support him by casting their votes for him during the election.

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NEWS

Nigerian Army In Frantic Search For Missing General

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The Nigeria Army is evacuating water from a mining pond at Dura, Du District, Jos South Local Government of Plateau State in search of Idris Alkali, a missing retired Major General.

The immediate past Chief of Administration, Army Headquarters, Abuja was declared missing on September 3.

He was on his way to Bauchi after leaving Abuja in the morning.

Brigadier General Ibrahim Mohammed, Garrison Commander, 3 Division Garrison, Nigeria Army, Rukuba, Jos, addressed newsmen on Thursday shortly after the commencement of the evacuation.

Mohammed, who is the commander of the search and rescue operation, said after thorough search and investigation, the army stumbled on some intelligence that made it necessary to search the water body.

He said: “In carrying out a directive from the Army headquarters, a thorough search was conducted, hospitals were visited, we searched everywhere.

“Based on credible intelligence, we had to come to this place and we have been here for the last one week.

“We are trying to find three things – an officer, Major General Alkali (rtd), who is still missing, his vehicle, a black Toyota Corrolla, and also ascertain whether Alkali is alive or not.

“We have credible information that some vehicles were pushed into this river and we have been here for the last three days trying to see if we can salvage something from the river.

“The river is a mining site and therefore very deep.

“We have used all options but as a last resort, we will evacuate the water from the pond to see what is in it.”

Meanwhile, some women, numbering about 500 and clad in black, have stormed the river to protest the evacuation of the water.

Mary Yakubu, leader of the protesters, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the water had been part of the community over time, adding that it had “a huge cultural significance”.

Yakubu said: “If the water is evacuated, it could lead to the death of our sons and husbands.”

But Mohammed, in a reaction, said nothing would stop the army from evacuating the water.

“The only thing that can stop us is a directive from the Army Headquarters,” he declared.

NAN.

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NEWS

18-Year-Old Paraded For Raping Seven University Students

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A suspect, Chidi Okoye Christian, has been paraded for allegedly raping female students of the Ekiti State University.

The 18-year-old, who was paraded on Thursday, had been on the wanted list of the university.

The EKSU Security Unit for some time following attacks on students living off campus.

Christian, who is not a student of the university, was arrested and paraded with his accomplice, Odunmbaku Kayode.

Items recovered from Okoye included smartphones, ATM cards, a Raleigh bicycle, a cutlass and a pistol.

Speaking at Iworoko Police Divisional Headquarters, the Chief Security Officer of EKSU Captain Tunde Ajayi (retd), said seven students had been raped by the suspect in the last three months.

Ajayi, who was with the Investigating Officer, said most of the victims live in nearby Iworoko.

He said the suspect usually carries a pistol with which he threatens his victims.

Ajayi said: “With a good knowledge of the neighbourhood where Okoye himself resides, it was easy for him to unleash terror in the middle of the night and return to his room, which he shared with an accomplice, Kayode Odunmbaku.”

Okoye confessed to the crime.

He was identified by his father, who told the police that the suspect “has been a wayward boy who ran away from home.”

The duo will be charged to court as soon as police conclude the investigation.

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