Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court on Friday sentenced a 38-year-old lecturer, Adebisi Ademola, to six months imprisonment over his involvement in love scam.
Ademola, who teaches at the State College of Health Technology (Health Tech), Offa, was among the 33 suspected internet fraudsters arrested on September 14, 2020, in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara.
The defendant was prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on one-count charge bordering on romance scam.
The offence is contrary to and punishable under Section 95 of the Penal Code of Northern Nigeria.
The charge reads: “That you, Adebisi Ademola (a.k.a Dawn Ayero) sometime in September 2020, at Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this Court, attempted to commit an offence of cheating by personation.
“That Ademola pretending and representing yourself to be a white lady called Dawn Ayero to one Donald Oakes who is purportedly in love with the said Donald Oakes as it is contained in your gmail account: firstname.lastname@example.org and thereby committed an offence.”
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
Following his guilty plea, counsel to the EFCC, Andrew Akoja, invited to the witness box one Olumide Olasode, an operative of the Commission, to review the facts of the case.
He narrated how intelligence report led to the arrest of the defendant on Sept. 14, 2020, at Offa.
Petition from concerned citizens of Offa, statement of the defendant and all the fraudulent messages printed out of his email were tendered and admitted as evidence by the court.
Akoja, thereafter, urged the court to convict the defendant based on his plea, the exhibits tendered and the evidence of the sole prosecution witness.
Consequently, Justice Oyinloye in his judgment found Ademola guilty of the charge and sentenced him accordingly.
He, however, gave him an option of fine of N50,000.
The judge, in addition ordered the forfeiture of convict’s phone used as instrument for commission of the crime to the Federal Government.