- Abike Dabiri-Erewa has warned Nigerians in the Diaspora to be mindful of their financial dealings with people
- Dabir-Erewa, who is the senior special assistant to the President Muhammadu Buhari on foreign affairs and Diaspora, made the plea in reaction to the arrest of a Nigerian in US
- The victim, Olufolajimi Abegunde, was said to have allowed his old friend, Ayodeji Olumide Ojo, to make use of his address to open a bank account in a US bank
The senior special assistant to the President Muhammadu Buhari on foreign affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has stressed the need for Nigerians, especially those sojourning in the Diaspora, to be mindful of their dealings with people they relate with, including friends and acquaintances, particularly when it comes to financial matters.
Legit.ng reports that Dabiri-Erewa was speaking against the arrest of a Nigerian, Olufolajimi Abegunde, who is now in detention for allowing his old friend, Ayodeji Olumide Ojo, to make use of his address to open a bank account in a US bank.
Dabiri-Erewa, who made this known, in a release signed by his senior assistant on media, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun, said even though till date, there was no official correspondence from the family to the effect that their son was arrested, Nigerian government owes it a duty to wade into the matter.
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It was gathered that the economic confidential reported that, Abegunde 31, who resides in Atlanta, Georgia and seven others: Javier Luis Ramos Alonso, 28, a Mexican citizen residing in Seaside, California; James Dean, 65, of Plainfield, Indiana; Dana Brady, 61, of Auburn, Washington; Rashid Abdulai, 24, a Ghanaian citizen residing in the Bronx, New York, who has been charged in a separate indictments, Maxwell Atugba Abayeta aka Maxwell Peter, 26, and Babatunde Martins, 62, of Ghana and Benard Emurhowhoariogho Okorhi, 39, a Nigerian citizen who resides in Ghana, were arrested and are pending extradition proceedings to face charges filed in the Western District of Tennessee.
A US department of Justice has since June 2018 arrested and charged eight people including Abegunde for cybercrime and business email compromise conspiracy.
The US acting assistant attorney general, Cronan was quoted to have said, "The defendants allegedly unleashed a barrage of international fraud schemes that targeted U.S. businesses and individuals, robbing them to the tune of approximately $15 million.
"The Department of Justice will continue to work with our international partners to aggressively disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises that victimize our citizens and businesses."
Dabiri-Erewa, however, said that Abegunde claimed innocence, saying that his address was used by a friend of his, Ayodeji Ojo, who has apparently been previously charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and is currently at large.
Abegunde in account as reported by economicconfidential.com, recounted that, "Prior to coming to the United States, to school, I had eight years of professional work experience, funding two startups and managing capital intensive projects in the leading information technology firm in Nigeria, Computer Warehouse Group.
''I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science degree in Computer Science from Babcock University, Ogun, Nigeria, 2006."
He further explained that, "Even though there was no probable cause for my arrest, there is no single strand of evidence tying me to to these charges on the indictment."
While Abegunde has been in detention since June 2018 for indictment of conspiracy, his friend, Ojo, who is the suspect, is now, unfortunately, at large.
The presidential aide disclosed that when the Nigerian Consulate in Atlanta was aware of the detention of Abegunde, who claimed innocence, a letter was written to the West Tennessee Detention Facility in Mason, Tennessee (where he is detained) requesting consular access.
She said: "The consulate in Atlanta is awaiting response for consular access to Mr Abegunde through the US Department of State in Washington."
Dabir-Erewa, however, believed that Abegunde's pleas that his friend, Ojo, used his address to open a bank account in a US bank, would hopefully be proven right in court.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the senior special assistant to the president on foreign affairs and diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, denied receiving any petition on a Nigerian detained by the U. S. authority.
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Dabiri-Erewa gave the explanation through her media aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, on Tuesday, December 18, in Abuja.
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