A Kwara state High Court, sitting in Ilorin, on Thursday sentenced Oladipo Juwon, a 23-year-old HND 1 Student of Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State, to nine months imprisonment, or pay fines totaling N250, 000 in the alternative, for internet fraud.
The presiding judge, Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar made the order following Juwon’s arraignment by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) at the court on a three-count charge bordering on cheating, contrary to section 324 of the Penal Code Law of Kwara state.
One of the counts read: “That you, Oladipo Opeyemi Juwon, sometime in the month of March 2019, in Ilorin, did cheat by personation.
“You portrayed yourself as a white female, named Frank Tinna via your email address firstname.lastname@example.org to one Bernard Fontenot and induced him to send you the sum of $235 through gift cards
“A representation you knew to be false, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 324 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Law.”
The accused person pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
In a testimony, Enoch Onyedikachi, an operative of the EFCC, had earlier told the court that on Sept. 7, 2020, the EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Office, received anonymous petitions from some concerned citizens in Offa, about the activities of some Internet fraudsters in the area, and the commission immediately launched a surveillance on the area and on Sept.14 raided the location, during which the convict was arrested along with others.
The witness said commission operatives recovered an iPhone from the convict, and on Sept.15 when he was brought to the Commission’s offices, it was confirmed that he was into Internet fraud, a fact to which he admitted in writing.
In his judgment, Justice Abdulgafar said he considered the totality of the evidence before him; the plea of the defendant; the exhibits tendered and the unchallenged testimony of the sole prosecution witness, to pass judgement on the convict.
Pronouncing his judgement, Abdulgafar said: “I hereby sentence you to three months imprisonment on count 1 with option of fine of N100,000, another three months imprisonment on count two with option of fine of N100,000 and three months imprisonment on count three with N50,000 as option of fine.”
The Judge said that the sentence should commence on 23 Dec., 2020 in view of the ongoing examinations at the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, that involves the convict.
He also ordered the convict to forfeit his mobile phones and compensate his victim.