By Adeniyi Adedeji, Ilorin
A Kwara State High Court Sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara Satate capital, has sentenced a 23-year-old HND 1 student of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State, Oladipo Opeyemi Juwon, to nine months’ imprisonment for his involvement in internet crime.
The presiding judge, Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar, handed down the judgement following an arraignment of the student by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a three-count charge.
The charge, according to the anti-graft agency bordered on cheating and attempted to cheat, contrary to and punishable under Section 324 of Penal Code Law of Kwara State.
He was said to have in the month of March 2019, in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of the High Court, did cheat by personation, by portraying himself as a white female named Frank Tinn,a via his e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org to one Bernard Fontenot.
The charge added that Juwon induced his victim to send him the sum of United States $235 vide gift cards, a representation he knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 324 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same Section of the Law.
Oladipo pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him and following his plea, Enoch Onyedikachi, an operative of the EFCC was called as a prosecution witness to review the facts of the case.
Led in evidence by the EFCC counsel; Andrew Akoja, Onyedikachi told the court that the Ilorin office of the Commission received an anonymous petition from some concerned citizens in Offa about the activities of some internet fraudsters in the area.
He disclosed that operatives of the EFCC swiftly placed a surveillance on the area and consequently, on the 14th of September, 2020 the place was raided, leading to the arrest of the defendant and other suspects.
Onyedikachi added, “Upon arrest, we recovered an iPhone from the defendant and we invited the defendant to EFCC Office on the 15th of September, 2020. We gave him a computer attestation form, which he filled. We analysed his phone and email address.
“Our findings revealed that the defendant was into internet fraud; a fact he admitted to, in writing.”
Delivering his judgment, Justice Abdulgafar said, “I have considered the totality of the evidence placed before me; the plea of the defendant; the exhibits tendered; the uncontradicted and unchallenged testimonies of the sole prosecution witness, Enoch Onyedikachi, I hold the view that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubts.
“This court finds you, Oladipo Opeyemi Juwon, guilty as charged. I hereby sentence you to three months imprisonment on count 1 with an option of fine of N100,000. Three months imprisonment on count two with option of fine of N100,000 and three months imprisonment on count three with N50,000 as option of fine”
While ordering the convict to forfeit his mobile phones and also restitute his victims, Justice Abdulgafar said that the sentence would commence on the 23rd of December, 2020 in view of the ongoing examinations at the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, involving the convict.