29th July, 2021
The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of a final year student of University of Ilorin (Unilorin) Ajani Samuel, over internet-related offences, including romance scam.
Ajani, 25, was among the 30 suspected fraudsters arrested on May 4, 2021 around Tanke Area, University Road, Ilorin by operatives of the Commission.
Upon the plea of guilt entered by the defendant, and uncontroverted evidence tendered by the prosecution against him, Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin found Ajani guilty of the two counts preferred against him by the EFCC.
One of the counts reads: “That you, AJANI SAMUEL (ALIAS ROSELINE THENG) sometime between the month of June, 2020 and May, 2021 at Ilorin, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court did knowingly had under your control the sum of $9,348.2 through your Blockchain Wallet linked to your [email protected], the money you knew to have been unlawfully obtained and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 319A of the Penal Code.”
Following the plea of the defendant, counsel to the EFCC, Innocent Mbachie, led Udo Iniubong, an operative of the Commission, to review the facts of the case.
Documents including the extra judicial statements of the defendant, fraudulent messages, iPhones, Laptop and Manager’s cheque (bank draft) of N100,000 raised as restitution by the defendant were tendered and admitted in evidence.
Delivering judgment on the matter on Wednesday, Justice Oyinloye said the court carefully considered the evidence placed before it and the plea of guilt entered by the defendant.
“The evidence of the sole prosecution witness remained credible and reliable even after the cross-examination. The defendant entered defence, but failed to neutralise, controvert or damage the evidence of the prosecution”, the judge said.
Consequently, Justice Oyinloye sentenced Ajani to six months imprisonment on count one with N50,000 as option of fine and two years imprisonment on count two with option of fine of N200,000.
According to the court, the sentences will run concurrently.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the convict’s iPhones, laptop and the manager’s cheque of N100,000 raised as restitution by the convict to his victims, to the Federal Government.