Justice Adenike Akinpelu of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 convicted a 23-year-old student of Federal University of Technology, FUT, Minna, Niger State, one Mohammed Bello, for offences bordering on cheating by personation.
Bello, who claimed to hail from Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State allegedly posed as a white female with intent to defraud unsuspecting victims
The defendant was prosecuted on two-count charge by the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
On April 22, 2022, the EFCC while acting on credible intelligence arrested Bello alongside other suspected fraudsters at Agric Estate, Sango area of Ilorin, Kwara State.
The defendant did not only admit committing the crime, but pleaded guilty to the charge upon arraignment.
Following his guilty plea, counsel to the EFCC, Andrew Akoja, reviewed the facts of the case through a witness, an operative of the Commission who tendered the extra-judicial statements of the defendant, one apple iPhone Xr and fraudulent messages printed from his device.
Akoja urged the court to hold that the prosecution had established the necessary ingredients of the alleged crime against the defendant to warrant his conviction.
Justice Akinpelu, while relying on the evidence before the court said that she was convinced that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and pronounced Bello guilty of the offence.
Consequently, the judge sentenced the defendant to six-months imprisonment with N150,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira Only) as option of fine on count one and six months imprisonment with N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira Only) as option of fine on count two.
Additionally, Justice Akinpelu ordered the forfeiture of the apple iPhone Xr, which was used to perpetrate the crime and the sum of $25 (Twenty-Five United States Dollars) which the convict benefited from the unlawful activities to the Federal Government.