Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday convicted four internet fraudsters.
The convicts – Adeoye Oriyomi, Kenny Onabule Adedokun, Isaac Osei Amankwa and Oluwatosin Sodeinde – who were separately arraigned on a count charge bordering on possession of fraudulent documents, pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Oriyomi was accused of having in his possession in Lagos, on or about July 30, 2019, a document titled, ‘Google Account’ in which he represented himself as Katherine Peters (a white female), a representation he knew to be false.
The EFCC said the convict prepared the document with intent to defraud people.
Adedokun was also said to have had in his possession in Lagos, on the same date, a document titled, ‘My Love’, where he represented himself as Tama Jones (a white female), which representation he knew to be false, and with intent to defraud his victims.
Sodeinde was convicted for having in his possession in Lagos, on or about February 13, 2019, an email wherein he represented himself as Richard Davis, an American citizen, which representation he knew to be false, and which he did with intent to defraud people.
In view of the defendants’ “guilty” pleas, the prosecution counsel, E. S. Okon, informed the court that the men willingly entered into a plea bargain agreement with the Commission.
The fact of the cases were reviewed, wherein the defendants made extra-judicial statements confessing to committing the crimes.
Items recovered from the convicts included a car, five mobile phones and four laptops.
Counsel to the convicts, Z. S. Makinde and Ikhide Daniels, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy as they were first-time offenders and were remorseful about the crimes they committed.
Justice Oshodi gave the men an option of fine of N200,000 each, which he said must be paid within 60 days from the day of judgment.
He also ordered that the convicts must undertake a six-month community service at the Old People’s Home, Yaba, Lagos, adding there must be a monthly report from the Home to the court on supervision.
The judge further ordered that the EFCC must ensure the service is carried out and must serve the court with a report on the last Friday of every month for the duration of six months.
All items recovered from the convicts were forfeited to the federal government.
Justice Oshodi ruled that the convicts shall be imprisoned for a term of one year if the fine was not paid within 60 days, with the term commencing from the day of default.