The Nigeria Police Force has taken legal action against Wilfred Bonse, a former gubernatorial candidate from Cross River State in the 2023 elections under the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP). The arrest is linked to his involvement in a financial scam amounting to N607 million associated with a cryptocurrency firm, Patricia.
According to a statement released on Monday by ACP Olumuyiwa Adejob, the Force Public Relations Officer, Bonse is accused of conspiring to launder N50 million, which originated from the fraudulent diversion of N607 million from Patricia. The arrest and subsequent arraignment took place before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, conducted by the Police National CyberCrime Centre following a thorough investigation.
Bonse, a resident of Flat 6 block 9, Aso Garden Estate, Karsana, Abuja, faces charges related to conspiracy to commit computer-related fraud, money laundering, and other offenses under the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015, as well as the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.
The court ordered the suspect to be remanded in a correctional facility until the next hearing, marking a significant step in addressing the Patricia security breach. Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, emphasized the commitment of the force to upholding the law and ensuring justice. He directed the Force National Cybercrime Centre, led by CP Uche Ifeanyi Henry, to continue pioneering efforts aligned with global best practices in combating cyber and cyber-enabled crimes.
The case against Bonse sheds light on the Nigeria Police Force’s ongoing efforts to combat cyber and financial fraud within the country and beyond. For inquiries or information sharing related to cybercrimes, the public is urged to contact the police via email at [email protected], as stated by Adejobi.
Bonse stands accused of benefiting at least N40 million from a cyber fraud scheme orchestrated by a group known as “The Syndicate.” The legal proceedings are expected to unfold as the investigation progresses.