A 34-year-old man, Yakubu Azeez Afolayan, was on Thursday sentenced to 20 years in prison by Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court, sitting in Ilorin, for offences bordering on impersonation and employment scam.
Afolayan, from Saare in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, was arraigned on a four-count charge by the Ilorin zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
His charge reads: “That you, Yakubu Azeez Afolayan, between the months of November 2018 and January 2019 in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with the intent to defraud, obtained the gross sum of N267,000 only from one Usman Janet Opeyemi through your UBA account number under the false pretence that you are capable of securing employment for her son with the Nigerian Customs Service; the representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges thereby setting stage for his full trial.
In his judgment on Thursday, Justice Abdulgafar said that from the totality of the evidence placed before the court, the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and linked the accused to the crime.
“It is very clear from the totality of the evidence of PW1 – PW4 that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
“It was the evidence of PW1 that the Nigerian Customs Service does not sell its recruitment forms to job applicants, but the defendant was collecting various sums of money from his victims as application fees.
“All this evidence was not challenged or controverted by the defendant,” the judge said.
Consequently, Justice Abdulgafar said there was nothing the court could do than to follow the provisions of the law in sentencing the convict.
“I hereby sentence you, Yakubu Azeez Afolayan to seven years imprisonment on count 1; seven years imprisonment on count 2; three years imprisonment on count 3 and three years imprisonment on count 4, to run concurrently,” the judge ruled.