Justice Sherifat Adeyemi of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan on Wednesday sentenced one Balaji Salami to prison for fraud.
The convict was prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on amended one-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence, contrary to Section 419 of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State 2000.
The charge read: “That you Bolaji Salami sometime in March, 2020, at Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, obtained various gift cards, worth the sum of USD$150 (One Hundred and Fifty United States Dollars) from one Smith Johnson, a white male American citizen, when you falsely represented to him that you are a white female American by name Angelina James, that you are in love with him and wanted to marry him, which representations you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence.”
He pleaded guilty to the offence following which the judge pronounced him guilty as charged and sentenced him to six months imprisonment with effect from his June 30, 2020 date of arrest.
Apart from his prison term, he would restitute his victim $150 and forfeit his iPhone X Max and Itel mobile phones and HP laptop computer to the Federal Government.
Similarly, Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan on Wednesday sentenced one Olanrewaju Isaac Olatunji, aka Mia Cruz, to one year imprisonment for fraud.
Olatunji was prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission on an amended one-count charge of criminal impersonation.
The charge read: “That you Olanrewaju Isaac Olatunji (a.k.a. Mia Cruz) sometime in May 2019 at Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, knowingly impersonated one Mia Cruz, a white female, when you falsely represented yourself to Abigail Mccaroll, in order to gain advantage for yourself, contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (ii) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015, and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) of the same Act.”
He pleaded guilty to the charge, upon which prosecution counsel, Mabas Mabur, asked the court to sentence and convict him accordingly.
The judge sentenced him to one year imprisonment with effect from February 13, 2020, the day of his arrest.
He is also to restitute $1,600 to his victim through the EFCC and forfeit his Honda Crosstour and other items recovered from him to the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission also arraigned the trio of Adedapo Olayiwola, Adebola Aderonke Adesina and her company, Kestrel Travels and Tour Limited, before Justice Sherifat Adeyemi.
Olayiwola is being prosecuted on a five-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence, contrary to Section 1 (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
He is alleged to have fraudulently obtained over N4 million from different victims on the pretence that he has plots of land to sell to them.
However, the victims, with time, discovered that the said plots of land did not belong to him.
The charge read: “That you Olayiwola Adedapo sometime in 2016, in Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N1,400,000 (One Million Four Hundred Thousand Naira) from one Monsuru Watiu Adekunle under the pretext that it is the purchase price for two acres of land, situated at Oyigun Village, Akinyele, Ibadan which you claimed belong to you, which representations you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, upon which prosecution counsel, Murtala Usman, asked the court for a commencement date of trial and for him to be remanded in prison custody.
Justice Adeyemi admitted Olayiwola to bail in the sum of N5 million and two sureties in like sum.
The sureties are to provide a valid means of identification, verified by the EFCC.
He was given seven days to comply with the bail conditions or be returned to EFCC’s custody.
The case was adjourned till December 2, 2020.
Adesina, on her part, was arraigned alongside her company on one-count charge of stealing, contrary to Section 390 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.
She was alleged to have fraudulently obtained the sum of N2.4 million from one Adeniyi Taiwo Dauda through her company on the pretence that she could help him procure visas for some of his clients.
She, however, failed to deliver on her promise and refused to refund the money to her victim.
The charge read: “That you, Adesina Adebola Aderonke and Kestrel Travels and Tours Limited sometime in February, 2019 at Ibadan, within the Ibadan Judicial Division of this honourable court, did commit an illegal act, to wit: stealing of the sum of N2,400,000.00 (Two Million and Four Hundred Thousand Naira) only, property of Adeniyi Taiwo Dauda.”
She pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, prompting prosecution counsel, Murtala Usman, to ask the court for a commencement date of trial and for the defendant to be remanded in prison custody.
The court ordered that she be remanded in EFCC’s custody pending an application for her bail and adjourned the matter till October 20, 2020 for hearing.