Thursday, July 4, 2019 10:11 pm
Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan has, on Thursday, July 4, 2019, sentenced six internet fraudsters to prison for internet-related offences.
The convicts, Paul Afolabi, Adebisi Adewale Michael, Afolabi Ridwan, Olajide Timileyin, Akinbinu Akinfemi Seun and Yusuf Babatunde, were found guilty of charges filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office.
They had earlier been arraigned on different charges, but re-arraigned on Thursday after approaching the Commission for plea bargain. The bargain produced the lone-charges they were eventually convicted of.
Afolabi was initially charged on a four-count offence of obtaining property under false pretense, while the rest were arraigned for obtaining money under false pretense.
The amended charges against Afolabi, Michael, Timileyin, and Seun border on impersonation, contrary to Section 22 (4) (a) of Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.
Ridwan’s offence was his failure to comply with lawful inquiry. This is contrary to, and punishable under Section 38 (1) and (2) (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes (Establishment) Act, 2004.
While presenting the accused persons, the prosecution counsel, Simon Harrison Ibekwute, informed the court of the plea bargain agreement proposed by their respective lawyers and agreed to by the Commission.
He then prayed the court to accept same as he invited the defendants to take their pleas one after the other.
They all pleaded guilty to their respective charges and in view of their guilty pleas, Ibekwute urged the court to convict the accused accordingly.
Justice Ajoku granted the prayer. She pronounced the accused guilty and sentenced them to four months imprisonment each, except Babatunde who was handed a five-month term.
The court also ordered all the convicts to make restitution to their victims through the Federal Government of Nigeria and as well forfeit all the items recovered from them to the government.