The Lagos State Government yesterday arraigned two men before a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja for allegedly cloning the state governor’s phone number and also attempting to defraud the Accountant General of the state.
The defendants, Rilwan Jamiu and Balogun Oyewole, were arraigned on three counts, including attempt to commit felony and obtaining money under false pretences, which they pleaded not guilty to.
According to the prosecutor, Adebayo Haroun, the defendants committed the offence at the Lagos State Treasury Office, Ministry of Finance, Alausa, Ikeja.
He added that the two defendants cloned the Globacom telephone number of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and sent a text message to the Accountant General, Mrs. Umar Abimbola, asking her to pay N50m into an account.
The Accountant General said, “On February 10, 2016, I received a text message at exactly 12.52pm. I initially thought the message was from the executive governor of Lagos State, because the name which I stored his number with was the same one that appeared in my inbox.
“The message read, ‘AG, urgently transfer N50m to Dayder Limited acc no 002806988 Keystone Bank. We will talk later, H.E.’
“I became suspicious because his Excellency does not send text messages for any payment. He calls us to his office when the need arises.
“This text message also looked strange because His Excellency would not end his message with H.E or start with AG. This was not his pattern. I put a call to the governor and he asked me to bring the phone for the security to investigate the text message since it did not come from him.
The presiding judge, Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya, ordered the defendants to be remanded in custody and adjourned the matter till November 17, 2017, for trial.