5th July, 2021
By Nimot Sulaimon
Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court sentenced a Lagos based 20-year-old boy, Oke Gideon, to 30 days imprisonment.
Gideon was found guilty of offences bordering on romance scam and internet fraud.
The long arm of the law caught up with Gideon on May 4, 2021, when he was arrested by operatives of the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, following intelligence reports on his criminal activities.
Upon arrest, he was profiled and volunteered statements, admitting to committing engaging in dating scams, love scams, and other internet-related offences.
He was consequently arraigned in court on July 2, 2021, on two counts, to which he pleaded guilty.
Count one of the charge reads.
“That you, Oke Gideon (Jenna Cherry) between August 2020 and September 2020 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, with intent to defraud, did obtain $150 (One Hundred and Fifty Dollars) worth gift from one Bradley Miller under the pretence that you are Jenna Cherry, a white female from Las Vegas, United States of America, which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1 (3) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.”
Following his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Sesan Ola, led one Sarah Audu, an operative of the Commission, to review the facts of the case. Audu narrated how Gideon was arrested based on actionable intelligence on the activities of internet fraudsters operating within the Ilorin metropolis. She tendered the confessional statements of the convict as well as fraudulent messages printed from his email, which were all admitted in evidence.
In his judgment today, Justice Abdulgafar convicted and sentenced Gideon based on his confessional statement, his plea to the charge and the exhibits tendered against him before the court.
However, the Judge gave the convict an option of a fine of
N50, 000 (Fifty Thousand Naira) and ordered that his iPhone 6 and HP laptop which was used as instruments in the crime be forfeited to the Federal Government.