News Investigators/ The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan Zonal Office, have secured the conviction of five internet fraudsters in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
Four of the convicts, Oyeyinka Damilare Malik, Abdullahi Olanrewaju Owopade, Temitope Dare Osanyintoba and Adedayo Oluwagbenro Ogunkoya, were convicted and sentenced on Tuesday, by Justices Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel and Peter Lifu of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, Osun State, while the fifth, Afeez Dayo was convicted by Justice Lifu, today, Wednesd, after pleading guilty to an amended one-count charge of fraudulent impersonation, contrary to Section 22(2)(b)(iv) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22(3) of the same Act.
While prosecution counsel in the matter, Abdulrasheed Suleiman prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly, Justice Lifu fixed the sentence for June 23.
The previous four convicts also pleaded guilty to their one-count amended charge. While Malik pleaded guilty to an amended lone charge of cyber stalking, contrary to Section 24 (1) (a) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015; the remaining three pleaded same to one-count charge of impersonation, contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015, prompting prosecution counsel, Shamsudden Bashir to urge the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
Justice Ayo-Emmanuel convicted and sentenced Malik to six months in prison, while Owopade was handed seven months.
In the same vein, Justice Lifu sentenced Osanyintoba to six months, while he handed seven months to Ogunkoya.
The convicts are also to restitute to their victims, the sums of money they lost to the fraudsters and to forfeit all items recovered from them to the Federal Government.
In a similar development, the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission, today, Wednesday, June 17, 2020 arraigned one Timilehin Awojoodu before Justice Lifu. The 24-year-old cybercrime suspect, who claimed to be a graduate of Business Administration of Federal Polythenic, Ede, Osun State, was arraigned on a 16-count charge, bordering on obtaining money by false pretences and possession of documents containing false pretences. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, prompting prosecution counsel Abdulrasheed Suleiman to pray the court for a trial date and to remand the defendant in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Centre.
However, the defence lawyer made an oral bail application, which was granted by the judge in the sum of N20 million and two sureties in like sum. The sureties, the judge held, must be civil servants not below Grade Level 14 in the Osun State or Federal Civil Service; and must be related by blood to the defendant.
He further ordered that the defendant must report to the court registrar every fortnight, and to be remanded in Nigerian Correctional Centre till he meets the bail conditions.
The matter was adjourned till June 30 for trial.