A 48-year-old man appeared in court on Monday accused of attempting to defraud people around the world of $20.5 million by pretending to be Nigeria’s First Lady.
Julius Anyawu Uche was charged with 10 offences under cybercrimes legislation after scam emails were sent in the name of President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha.
The defendant pleaded not guilty before a judge sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos. Uche was remanded in custody until a further hearing at the same court on January 18.
Two other men were also remanded in custody until the same date on similar offences.
One of them, Agu Ifeanyi George, 48, allegedly pretended to be a medical doctor seeking funds to relocate from war-torn Syria with her family.
Uche, who according to police is also known as “Musa Mohammed”, is said to have conspired with “others at large”.
Nigeria has a big reputation for online fraud, with scammers often using topical subjects and personalities to hoodwink unsuspecting victims into parting with bank details or cash.