Ladeji Babatunde, an informant for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, was charged before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offenses Court in Lagos with receiving N2.6 million from alleged Internet fraudsters as payment for protection from arrest by the commission. The defendant was initially charged by the EFCC for the alleged offense in December 2021.
Babatunde was accused of violating Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offenses Act No. 14 of 2006 on four charges of acquiring money under false pretenses. The accused entered a not-guilty plea to the accusations. Justice Taiwo ruled on the trial-within-a-trial on Monday during the proceedings and stated that “no act of torture was established.” Bot Toma, an employee of the EFCC, was called as a witness by the prosecutor, Nnemeka Omenwa.
Toma said that the defendant, an EFCC informant, pretended to be a member of the organization’s staff to solicit money from the alleged fraudsters with the assurance that they wouldn’t be detained or given bail if necessary. The witness was able to confirm that a petition was written to his office as an intelligent report against the defendant, according to O.E. Odetoun, the defense attorney, during cross-examination.
Adetoun questioned whether the petitions’ writers were the same or whether the second exhibit likewise came from a confidential source. According to Toma, the commission carried out an operation in Ogun State sometime in March 2021 and detained several people who were suspected of being Internet fraudsters. One of them, Jacob, revealed that the defendant had taken N800,000 from his family in exchange for protection in the case.
The case was further postponed to August 16, 2022, by Justice Taiwo.