By Ahmed Ajikobi
A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin at the weekend convicted and sentenced a 38-year-old lecturer at the Kwara State College of Health Technology, Offa, Adebisi Ademola, to six months imprisonment over his involvement in an internet love scam.
Ademola was among the thirty-three suspected internet fraudsters arrested on September 14, 2020 in Offa area of Kwara State.
The defendant was prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on one count bordering on romance scam, an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 95 of the Penal Code Law of Northern Nigeria.
The charge reads: “That you, Adebisi Ademola (a.k.a Dawn Ayero) sometime in September, 2020 or thereabout at Ilorin, Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court attempted to commit an offence of cheating by impersonation by pretending and representing yourself to be a white lady called Dawn Ayero to one Donald Oakes who is purportedly in love with the said Donald Oakes as it is contained in your gmail account: email@example.com and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 95 of the Penal Code Laws of Northern Nigeria.”
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
Following his ‘guilty plea’, counsel to the EFCC, Andrew Akoja, invited to the witness box, one Olumide Olasode, an operative of the Commission to review the facts of the case. He narrated how intelligence report led to the arrest of the defendant on September 14, 2020 at Offa area of Kwara State.
Petition from concerned citizens of Offa, statement of the defendant and all the fraudulent messages printed out of his email were tendered and admitted in evidence by the Court.
Akoja, thereafter, urged the Court to convict the defendant based on his plea, the exhibits tendered and the evidence of the sole prosecution witness (PW1).
Consequently, the trial judge, Justice Sikiru Oyinloye found Ademola guilty of the charge and accordingly sentenced him. He, however, gave him an option of fine of N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira).
The judge in addition, ordered the forfeiture of convict’s phone, used as instrument to perpetrate the crime, to the Federal Government.
By Ahmed Ajikobi