EFCC Arraigns Alleged Internet Fraud Kingpin for $8.5m Scam

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Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Port Harcourt zonal office, has arraigned one Onwuzuruike Ikenna Kingsley, popularly known as Jeff Sikora, a self-styled President/Chief Executive Officer of United States-based Prime Trust Credit Union Bank, before Justice A.T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, impersonation, forgery, possession of proceeds and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of $8, 502,000.

The offence contravenes Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

One of the counts read: “That you, Onwuzuruike Ikenna Kingsley (aka Jeff Sikora), on or about December 28, 2019, in Umuahia, Abia State, within the jurisdiction of this court, with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of $6, 500,000.00 through web transfer from one Mr. Selah Elnagar Ali Ahmed, a citizen of Egypt, with the pretence that he is a beneficiary of inheritance funds in a fixed deposit account of Prime Trust Financial Bank in United States, a pretext you knew to be false, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.

In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, M.T Iko, asked the court for a short adjournment.

However, defence counsel, R.E. Wanogho, informed the court of a pending application for the bail of the defendant.

Iko, however, opposed the application on the grounds that he was only served the application that same morning and needed time to study and respond to it.

Justice Mohammed adjourned the matter till July 3, 2020, for hearing, and ordered that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody.

Kingsley ran into trouble following actionable intelligence received by the commission on his alleged fraudulent activities. This led to the arrest of the defendant on January 26, 2020, by operatives of the EFCC at his residence on Uzuakoli Road, Umuahia, Abia State.