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How Yahoo Boy,H-Money, Serving 24-yr Jail Term, Pulled Off $1m Scam From Kirikiri Prison, Attends Parties, Bought Properties

Peter Okunoren

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A convicted internet fraudster, Hope Olusegun Aroke who is serving a 24-year jail term at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison in Lagos is again, the subject of an investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for being the alleged mastermind of a mega scam to the tune of over $ 1,000, 000.

He allegedly pulled the heist right from prison using a network of accomplices, some of the targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.

The lid on his latest fraud exploits from the bowels of the Maximum Correctional Centre was blown following intelligence received by the EFCC.

The immediate riddle that confronted the EFCC was how it was possible for the convict to continue to ply his ignoble trade of Internet fraud from prison.

Preliminary investigation revealed that that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to the internet and mobile phone in the Correctional Centre where he is supposed to be serving his jail term.

Even more puzzling was the finding that Aroke got himself admitted to the Nigeria Police Hospital, Falomo, Lagos for an undisclosed ailment. And from the hospital, he would move out to lodge in hotels, meet with his wife and two children and attend other social functions.

The circumstance of his admission into the hospital and those who aided his movement from the hospital to hotels and other social engagements are already being investigated by the EFCC.

For a felon supposedly serving a jail term, the investigation revealed that the Aroke used a fictitious name, Akinwunmi Sorinmade, to open two accounts with two of Nigeria’s leading banks.

He also bought a property at Fountain Spring Estate, Lekki Lagos in 2018 for N22million and a Lexus RX 350 2018 model registered in his wife’s name, Maria Jennifer Aroke.

The convict was also in possession of his wife’s bank account token in prison, which he used to freely transfer funds.

Further investigation revealed that, while his trial was ongoing in 2015, Aroke bought a four-bedroom duplex at Plot 12, Deji Fadoju Street, Megamounds Estate Lekki County Homes, Lekki for N48million.

Aroke was one of two Malaysia-based Nigerian undergraduate fraudsters arrested by the EFCC in the closing weeks of 2012 at the 1004 Housing Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos following a tip-off. The indigene of Okene, Kogi State had claimed to be a student of Computer Science at the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University, Malaysia.

But the Commission’s investigation fingered him as the arrowhead of an intricate web of internet fraud scheme that traverses two continents.

When Aroke was arrested, a search conducted by EFCC operatives on his apartment led to the recovery of several items such as laptops, iPad, traveling documents, cheque books, flash drives, internet modem, and three exotic cars – a Mercedes Benz Jeep, One 4Matic Mercedes Benz Car and a Range Rover Sport SUV.

He was eventually convicted by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos State High Court on two counts of obtaining money by false pretense, cheque cloning, wire transfer, and forgery.

He was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment on each of the two counts.

BIG STORY

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson Writes Britons, Warns ‘Things Will Get Worse’

Peter Okunoren

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Britons to stay home and outlined stricter measures yet to come in the fight against the coronavirus.

“It’s important for me to level with you – we know things will get worse before they get better,” Mr Johnson wrote in a letter issued by Downing Street.

The missive is to be delivered to 30 million households this week.

“We are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal,” Mr Johnson asserted.

“At this moment of national emergency, I urge you, please, to stay at home, protect the NHS (National Health Service) and save lives,” he added.

Stay-at-home and strict social distancing rules must be obeyed, warned Mr Johnson, who has himself contracted COVID-19.

“These rules must be observed. So, if people break the rules, the police will issue fines and disperse gatherings,” he added.

The number of deaths from the coronavirus in Britain has risen to more than 1,000 with over 17,000 infections.

Britain delayed imposing social-distancing measures on its population to stem the spread of coronavirus until last week.

On Friday, both Mr Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced they had tested positive for the virus.

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, also has the virus.

Mr Johnson, 55, has said he has mild symptoms including temperature and a persistent cough.

He is self-isolating and working from home.

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BREAKING: Panic As UI College Of Medicine Provost, Deputy Test Positive For Coronavirus

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The provost and deputy provost of the University of Ibadan, UI, College of Medicine, Professors Ezekiel Olapade-Olaopa and Obafunke Denloye, have tested positive to the dreaded coronavirus.

Olapade-Olaopa, who made this known in a Whatsapp group message Sunday morning said “Dear colleagues, I wish to inform you that the deputy provost and I tested positive for the COVID-19 following the tests done on Friday. Although we are both asymptomatic, we have gone into self-isolation for the 14 days while our contacts are being observed closely to determine if they should also be tested.”

It is, however, unsure whether the duo are new cases or parts of the four cases confirmed by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, last night.

Last night, the NCDC announced that the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state is now seven.

Before Saturday night’s announcement, the number of confirmed cases in the state was only three.

A breakdown of the case in the country according to the NCDC shows that Oyo State now has the third-highest number of confirmed cases in the country behind only Lagos and FCT.

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BREAKING: Nigeria Immigration Boss Muhammed Babandede Tests Positive For Coronavirus

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The Comptroller-General of Immigration, Muhammed Babandede, has tested positive for coronavirus, PUNCH Newspaper reports.

The CG, who disclosed this in a WhatsApp message to our correspondent this morning, explained that he is already on self-isolation since he returned from the United Kingdom on March 22.

The PUNCH later called him on phone and Babandede confirmed the development.

He stated, “Today, I tested positive for COVID-19. I have been on self-isolation since my return from UK on Sunday 22nd of this month with British Airways in Lagos.

“I urge my loved ones, Immigration Officers and Nigerians to pray for me and all those affected.”

Babandede urged immigration officers to continue working with his deputy to move the service forward.

He added, “It is a very difficult time but we can’t change what God destined for us.

“I urge officers to continue working with my able Deputy to further move our Service to another level. As advised by NCDC, I am totally isolated.”

This is happening barely 12 hours after the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, tested positive for COVID-19.

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