The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos office, on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, secured the conviction of four internet fraudsters before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
The convicts, Olatunde Olanrewaju, Ajuwon Oladipo, Abraham Adeoye and Adejumola Gbolahan, were arraigned on separate charges bordering on possession of fraudulent documents.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Olatunde Olanrewaju, sometime in June, 2019 in Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, had in your possession a document, which contains false pretence to which you ought to know, having regard to the circumstances of the case, that the document contains the false pretence.”
Another charge reads: “That you, Ajuwon Oladipo, sometime in June, 2019 in Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, had in your possession a document which contains false pretences to wit: ‘hello hun’ with attachments, which document you ought to know, having regard to the circumstances of the case, that the document contains false pretences.”
The convicts each pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against them.
In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Bilkisu Buhari and Nkemruwem Anana, informed the court that the convicts willingly entered into a ‘plea bargain agreement’ with the Commission.
The facts of the cases were then reviewed, wherein the defendants made extra- judicial statements confessing to have committed the crimes.
The prosecution counsel further told the court about the items recovered from the defendants, which included two Mercedes Benz C-class cars, six mobile phones, two laptops and a hard drive.
The prosecution counsel, therefore, urged the court to convict and sentence the defendants based on the plea bargain agreements entered into by the defendants.
Counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy on the grounds that their clients were first-time offenders who had shown remorse.
In his judgment, Justice Oshodi convicted the defendants.
The Judge, however, gave the defendants an option of fine of N200, 000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) each, which must be paid within 60 days from the day of Judgment.
Justice Oshodi also ordered the convicts to undertake a six-month community service in any General Hospital in Lagos.
The Hospital management was directed to submit a report on the service carried out by the convicts to the Ministry of Justice.
Justice Oshodi further directed the EFCC to ensure compliance to the order by filing and serving the court with a report on the last Friday of every month for the duration of six months.
Justice Oshodi also held that the convicts would be imprisoned for a term of one year if the fine is not paid within the specified period and that the sentencing would commence from the day of default.