Justice Mahmud Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, on Thursday, convicted a 21-year-old Okolie Francis Uchenna from Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State of offences bordering on internet fraud.
Okolie, who claimed to be a Lottery Agent with Facebook, was convicted alongside Adeyemo Adewale Quadri from Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State for a similar offence.
The duo, who were prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFC, on separate charges contrary to Section 321 and punishable under Section 324 of the Penal Code Law, pleaded guilty to the charge.
Upon their pleas, counsel to the EFCC, Andrew Akoja, called witnesses through whom fraudulent messages printed from the defendants’ phones as well as the device used in perpetrating the crime were tendered. He urged the court to hold that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and convict the defendants as charged.
In his judgment, Justice Abdulgafar held that the court had carefully considered the plea of guilt entered by the defendants, the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, exhibits tendered and the extra-judicial statements of the defendants and was satisfied that the prosecution had established its case against the defendants.
The judge sentenced Uchenna to one-year imprisonment each on counts 1 and 2, to run concurrently with the option of a fine of
N50,000 on count one and N200,000 on count two. The court also ordered that the sum of $200, which the convict raised as restitution, and an iPhone 11, which was used to perpetrate the crime, be forfeited to the Federal Government.
In the same vein, Justice Abdulgafar sentenced Quadri to six months imprisonment each on counts one and two, which would be suspended. The court also ordered the forfeiture of the iPhone 11, which the convict used as the instrument in committing the crime to the Federal Government.