The Kwara State High Court presided over by Justice Sikiru Oyinloye, on Friday, convicted and sentenced a 38-year-old lecturer of the Kwara State College of Health Technology Offa, Adebisi Ademola, to six months imprisonment over his involvement in a love scam.
Ademola was among the 33 suspected internet fraudsters who were arrested on September 14, 2020, in the Offa area of Kwara State.
The lecturer was prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a one-count charge bordering on romance scam.
The offence, according to the EFCC, was contrary to and punishable under Section 95 of the Penal Code Law of Northern Nigeria.
The charge reads: “That you, Adebisi Ademola (a.k.a Dawn Ayero) sometime in September 2020 or thereabout at Ilorin, Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court attempted to commit an offence of cheating by personation by 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 contrary to and punishable under Section 95 of the Penal Code Laws of Northern Nigeria.”
The lecturer pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
Following his ‘guilty plea’, counsel to the EFCC, Andrew Akoja, invited one Olumide Olasode, an operative of the anti-graft agency, to the witness box to review the facts of the case.
The witness narrated how an intelligence report led to the arrest of the defendant on September 14, 2020, at the Offa area of Kwara State.
Petition from concerned citizens of Offa, statement of the defendant and all the fraudulent messages printed out of his email were tendered and admitted in evidence by the Court.
Akoja, thereafter, urged the court to convict the lecturer based on his plea, the exhibits tendered and the evidence of the sole prosecution witness (PW1).
Justice Oyinloye found Ademola guilty of the charge and accordingly sentenced him.
He, however, gave him an option of a fine of N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira).
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the lecturer’s phone, used as an instrument to perpetrate the crime, to the Federal Government.