By Celestine Okafor (Editor-in-Chief)
Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin on Friday, July 30, 2021, sentenced an undergraduate, one Abdulsalam Oyeyemi, to one-year imprisonment for falsely posing as American Military Officer to defraud unsuspecting victims.
The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on Thursday, July 29, 2021, arraigned Oyeyemi, 23, on a one-count charge bordering on personation and internet fraud.
The charge reads: “That you, Abdulsalam Oyeyemi (aka Colt Williams, James Anderson) sometime in March 2020 or thereabout in Ilorin, Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dishonestly induced one Cristina Gobin (aka Cristina Haripaul), a white lady to send you bitcoins worth the sum of 1,255 Canadian Dollars when you knowingly pretended and represented yourself to be one James Anderson, an American Military Messenger who is in charge of her husband, Colt Williams' internet connection when you had earlier represented yourself to the said Cristina Gobin as the said Colt Williams, an American Marine Officer who is in a romantic relationship with her and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 321 and punishable under Section 324 of the Penal Code Laws of Northern Nigeria.”
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge.
Counsel to the EFCC, Aliyu Adebayo, led an operative of the Commission to review the facts of the case. In the process, incriminating materials found on the defendant upon arrest were tendered and admitted in evidence. These include the defendant’s extrajudicial statements, fraudulent messages printed out of his phones and the manager's cheque (bank draft) of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) which he raised as restitution to the victim.
In his Judgment, Justice Abdulgafar said the court carefully considered the case of the prosecution, the plea of guilt entered by the defendant, his extrajudicial statements, and the exhibits tendered before the court, and found merit in it.
The judge sentenced Oyeyemi to one-year imprisonment. According to him, “The sentence shall be suspended for one year”.
The court thereafter ordered the forfeiture of the convict’s iPhone and the Manager's cheque of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) to the Federal Government.
“The judgment is without the option of fine”, the judge added. NNL.