By Susan Maina
The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, secured the conviction of two internet fraudsters for offences bordering on personation and identity theft, contrary to and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 .
The Convicts: Fuad Abidemi Olowo and Adepoju Pelumi Emmanuel were prosecuted on separate charges before Justice Mohammed Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin.
Fuad, 21, from Abayawo, Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State was one of the 30 suspected internet fraudsters arrested on May 4, 2021 at the Unigate Hostel, Tanke Area, Ilorin during a sting operation by operatives of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC.
Investigation revealed that the 400Level Plant Biology student of University of Ilorin presented himself as an American Musician, Rick Ross, to deceive unsuspecting victims.
On the other hand, Adepoju from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, was accused of using the identity of one Kelvin Montalvo, while presenting himself as a military and gym instructor living in California, United States to deceive his victims.
Upon arraignment, Fuad and Adepoju pleaded guilty to the charge.
Following the plea of guilty entered by the defendants, prosecuting counsel, Andrew Akoja, urged the court to consider the extra-judicial statements of the defendants, the guilty plea and exhibits tendered through the investigating officer as well as the provisions of the law to convict the defendants.
Justice Sani, after evaluating the facts and the evidence placed before the court, pronounced them guilty.
The judge sentenced Fuad to six months imprisonment on each count, to run concurrently with Two Hundred Thousand Naira Only option of fine on each of the two counts. The court also ordered the forfeiture of iPhone XR used as instrument of crime, to the Federal Government.
In the same vein, Justice Sani sentenced Adepoju to one year imprisonment with Three Hundred Thousand Naira Only option of fine.
According to the judge, the convict would forfeit the HP Laptop and Tecno Spark 4 phone that were used to perpetrate the crime to the Federal Government.