Over the years, our youths have been caught in the web of devising means to survive and remaining afloat in a capitalist society like ours. With the earth-to-heaven disparity between the rich and the poor, thriving in such a society, at least to a point of meeting basic necessities and acquiring basic ingredients that dignify humanity becomes a herculean task, exclusively reserved for men (women) with big hearts.
According to a survey conducted by Vanguard in 2015, 86% of our youths are pro-enterprise. If this is true, why is the rate of unemployment still sky-high? Why are the concomitant effects of unemployment such as cultism, arm robbery, prostitution, drug abuse, political thuggery, hired assassination, pick-pocketing and many other social vices still visible footprints on our national soil? Against all odds, about 30% of these intended entrepreneurs according to National Bureau of Statistics have had their businesses registered, wielding so much zeal and enthusiasm, eager and willing to start up business to contribute to our pitiable GDP, employ fellow youths and live a life a life with a minimum standard. Most often than not, this high spirit is short lived and never saw the ray of reality. What then happens to the bigger dreams? Why are youths so eager to make money by all means? Is it fear of the future or the fear of now? Peer pressures or economic and political disappointments? For the past 3 days, the pages of the newspapers and the internet are full of criminal cases reported below.
Male and female suspected internet fraudsters apprehended in Abuja, Benz and other luxury items recovered
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abuja zonal office has arrested 10 suspected internet fraudsters, following intelligence report of their suspicious activities.
According to a statement released by the antigraft agency, the suspects are, Triumph Chikwendu Madumere, Success Chukwumazu Obasi, Jamila Shuaibu, Bright Idumwonyi Osaigboko and Obasi Wisdom. Others are Idemudia Emmanuel, Sandra Alang, Stanley Ohiaeri, Samuel Tochukwu and Ikechukwu David Ohiaeri.
They were arrested at Karu and Mpape settlements of Abuja, on February 7, 2019. Items recovered from them include, three Mercedes Benz cars, five laptop computers, 10 handsets, ATM cards and other incriminating documents.
DSS arraigns two INEC staff in Rivers State for selling PVCs
On Thursday, the Department of State Services (DSS) arraigned two Staff of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Monday Ifiesimama and Beesor Sorle before a Chief Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt for alleged electoral offences.
Another man identified as Darlington Ogolo was also arraigned alongside the INEC officials. Ifiesimama and Sorle were accused of attempting to steal 3,097 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and selling them to Ogolo, whose identity was still under investigation.
Ogolo, on his part, was accused of bribing Ifiesimama and Sorle with sum of N300,000 and N120,000 respectively as payment for the PVCs. The accused persons are facing eight counts charge of conspiracy, bribery, theft and fraud in suit number PHC/313C/19.
Mr Calistus Eze,the Prosecuting Counsel said the accused persons allegedly committed the offences between May and August 2018. He said their acts contravened Sections 98 (4) (1) and Section (A) (1) of the Criminal Code Law of Rivers state. He said that the offence also violated Section 120 (1) (d) and Section 117 (1) (e) of the Electoral Act 2010.
Chief Magistrate S.D. Andrew-Jaja, however, admitted the three accused persons to bail in the sum of N100, 000 each with a surety each in same amount. Andrew-Jaja ordered that the sureties must be Civil Servants on not less than Grade Level 12 in Rivers State Civil Service. He thereafter adjoined the matter until Feb. 20, for hearing. In another development, the DSS arraigned one Philemon Lawrence, 25, who allegedly paraded himself as INEC official.
Lawrence was accused of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public after promising his victims jobs as INEC ad hoc staff. The DSS alleged that the accused person collected N3, 800 each from members of the public after advertising his bank account online. He was handed a three counts charge bordering on conspiracy, impersonation and fraud. Andrew-Jaja also admitted him to bail in the sum of N300, 000 with surety in like sum. The chief magistrate adjourned the case until Feb. 19, for further hearing
NEMA pilot arraigned for diverting?over N91 million, money meant for taking care of the fleets, including Airbus and?Air ambulance
EFCC has arraigned one Mamman Ali Ibrahim before Justice A. I. Kutigi of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, sitting in Gwagwalada, on a two-count charge, bordering on criminal breach of trust.
Ibrahim, who served as a pilot in charge of Air Ambulance Aviation Unit and Helicopter Emergencies Service with the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, is alleged to have diverted over N91 million, money meant for taking care of the fleets, including Airbus, Air ambulance and the Helicopter.
His journey to the dock on February 7, 2019, followed a petition to the office of the Vice President, which was forwarded to the office of the acting EFCC Chairman, for investigation.
Investigations revealed that Ibrahim commercialised both the ambulance and the helicopter. He, however, claimed that the directive to commercialise them came from the office of a former vice president and a former Accountant General of the Federation, AGF.
Further investigations also revealed that the total sum of N285 million was realized from the commercialisation of the aircraft, while N63 million was paid to the AGF.
It was also gathered that N11 million was paid to NEMA, while the balance was yet to be accounted for. According to the petition, over N4million was paid into the account of Aerocare West Africa Limited, a company belonging to the defendant, which he transferred to his family members.
One of the counts reads in part: “That you, Mamman Ali Ibrahim, whilst being employed in the public service and serving as a pilot in charge of Air Ambulance Aviation Unit and Helicopter Emergencies Services with the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, between 2014 and 2015, at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, while being entrusted with dominion over money, to wit, the sum of N64,550,810 (Sixty Four Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Eight Hundred and Ten Naira) only, being part of the proceeds realized from the commercialization of the aircraft belonging to NEMA”.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. In view of his plea, prosecuting counsel, Deborah Ademu-Eteh, asked the court for a trial date. Defence counsel, Aduojo Abah, however, moved the motion for the bail of his client.
Ademu-Eteh opposed the application, urging the court to “consider the severity of the punishment and the character of the evidence before the court”. After listening to all the arguments, Justice Kutigi granted him bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.
The surety being a public servant not lower than level 14, must be a resident within the jurisdiction. The case has been adjourned to April 10, 2019, for trial.
University graduate,?Obinna Udoji?bags one year jail term for? $9,654 fraud
EFCC has secured the conviction of Obinna Udoji, a graduate of the Department of Building Technology, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, for a $9,654 fraud.
He was arrested by operatives of the EFCC on January 7, 2019 following intelligence report that he fraudulently obtained money from one Alina Ruso, which he claimed was to be invested in a company, Zenith Margin, which turned out to be false. He was subsequently arraigned before Justice A.O. Onovo of an Enugu State High Court, for the offence of obtaining money by false pretence, to which he pleaded “guilty”.
The trial judge, however, asked the prosecution led by Innocent Mbachie, to present its witness, “in order for the court to hear the facts of the case”. Thereafter, a prosecution witness was called, who narrated how an intelligence report was received by the EFCC, which led to the investigation and arrest of Udoji.
Tendered as evidence, were the intelligence report, statements, bank statements, scanned emails from Udoji’s computer and emails from the EFCC to the victim to establish the case, including Udoji’s application for plea bargain.
Mbachie, further told the court that Udoji had returned the money to his victim, and urged the court to “convict him in accordance to Section 367 subsection 8, 9 and 10 of the Administration of criminal Justice Act”.
Defence counsel, T.U. Nweke, pleaded with the judge to “temper justice with mercy” as his client was a first-time offender and an orphan. Justice Onovo, on February 7, 2019 sentenced him to one year in prison, noting that, “I took cognizance of his plea and his restituting of the total sum to the victim”.
Avoiding Quick Riches Syndrome
Stick with what you know
“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established” (Proverbs 24:3). Seldom will anyone be duped into a get-rich-quick scheme in his or her area of expertise. The vast majority of people who make money do it in the field in which they have the most training and experience. Those who lose it usually do so in an area they know little about.
Don’t risk borrowed money
“A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naive proceed and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12). It’s one thing to speculate with money that you can afford to lose and quite another to lose money that literally belongs to another. The former is called speculation; the latter is surety. “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).
Buy investments with utility
“She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen” (Proverbs 31:16, 24). Utility simply means buying something of use to someone else. Most get-rich-quick schemes deal with intangibles, or at least remote tangibles.
Don’t make quick decisions
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5). The very essence of a get-rich-quick scheme is emotionalism. The promoter urges the potential buyer to act quickly before the opportunity is missed. The final ploy is to develop an attitude of covetousness by hinting that another prospect is waiting to snap up the deal. What is the best way to avoid this trap? “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7).
Seek good counsel
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel” (Proverbs 12:15). It is amazing how quickly someone who is not emotionally involved with a get-rich-quick scheme can spot its flaws. Good, objective Christian counsel should be a prerequisite to any major financial decision. That counsel is most objective when it comes from someone who has no profit motive involved.
To avoid these get-rich-quick financial traps, you must establish your standards by God’s Word: seek God’s plan for your life, stick with what you know, seek good counsel, and wait on God’s peace before acting. “It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it” (Proverbs 10:22).