Saturday, March 16, 2019 3:09 pm
Hon. Justice Mohammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court 1, Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Thursday, March 14, 2019 convicted and sentenced Damilare Adelaja (Lonely Diva) and Banjo Femi alias Katherine Bishop, to four months imprisonment each after they opted for a plea bargain and pleaded guilty.
According to a statement from the Ibadan zonal office of Economic and Financial Commission, EFCC, the convicts were re-arraigned separately by the commission, on one-court charge bordering on impersonation.
The charge preferred against Banjo reads: “That you Banjo Femi, a.k.a Katherine Bishop, a.k.a Lonely Diva, sometimes in November, 2018, at Awa-Ijebu within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court Fraudulent Impersonated by representing yourself to be Katherine Bishop, a white female Via your mail sent to one Charlse Hyatt a United States of American Citizen through your email address: email@example.com in order to facilitate your obtaining gift cards worth the sum of $350 (Three Hundred and Fifty United States of America Dollars) and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (3) (b) and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015”.
For Adelaja, the lone-count thus reads: “That you Damilare Adelaja sometimes in 2018, at Awa-Ijebu within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court falsely represented yourself as Victoria Jane and sent female pictures through an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, as that of the said Victoria Jane to one Jason who resides in the United States of America in order to obatain the sum of $30 (Thirty United States of America Dollars ) from him, through itune cards and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (3) (b) and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015.
Before agreeing to the amended charges, the convict had pleaded not guilty when they were originally arraigned.
Banjo was initially slammed with a two-count charge, while Adelaja’s then one-count charge bordered on obtaining by false pretence.
Having agreed with the anti-graft agency on the terms of the bargain, the EFCC counsel prayed the court to accordingly convict the defendants.
Messrs. Adeola Elumaro and Mabas Mabur were the prosecution counsel in the cases against Adelaja and Banjo respectively
In his judgment, Justice Abubakar convicted and sentenced the duo to four months imprisonment each. The jail terms will take effect from November 15, 2018, their day of arrest.
The court also ruled that the items recovered from the convicts be forfeited to their victims, including the cash being extorted.
In effect, Banjo will lose his Laptop, Phone and $350, while Adelaja is to surrender his Phone and $30 to their victims through the Federal Government of Nigeria, being part of the benefits they derived from their fraudulent acts.