Man bags prison term for love scam

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Justice Mojisola Dada of an Ikeja Special Offences Court, on Wednesday, sen­tenced a man, Ahmed Ti­jani, to one-year imprison­ment for involvement in a romance scam, using some fraudulent documents.

Dada was arraigned by Economic and Finan­cial Crimes Commission on an amended one-count charge, bordering on possession of documents containing false pretence.

Justice Dada then found Tijani guilty as charged and sentenced him to one year in Ikoyi Correctional Centre.

She, however, gave the convict an option of N500,000 fine, following the allocutus of his counsel, Mr. Damilola Ayinde-Mar­shall.

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The judge ordered the forfeiture of all the items recovered from the con­vict, which were proceeds of his fraudulent activities online.

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He also ordered the con­vict to sign an undertak­ing with EFCC, upon his release, never to engage in any form of economic and financial crimes within and outside the shores of Nigeria and to be of good behaviour.

Earlier, EFCC Counsel, Mr. Temitope Banjo, had told the court that Tijani had in his possession doc­uments containing false pretences, where he false­ly represented himself as a female, with intent to de­fraud.

Following his guilty plea, Banjo called the pros­ecution witness to give a review of the facts against the defendant.

The witness, Vincent Kwambuge, an EFCC op­erative, narrated how the commission’s personnel, acting on intelligence report, busted the activi­ties of suspected Internet fraudsters in Lekki.

He identified the defen­dant as one of the 18 per­sons arrested after a sting operation was carried out, based on the intelligence acted upon.

“Sometimes in April, the commission received credible and reliable intel­ligence on the activities of an organised cyber-crimi­nal syndicate network oper­ating at Lekki, Lagos.

“The sting operation was conducted on April 29 which resulted in the arrest of 18 suspected Internet fraudsters, including the defendant, who was handed over to the EFCC operatives for further investigation.

“The mobile devices recovered from the defen­dant at the point of arrest was analysed and he (de­fendant) also volunteered his statement, in which he admitted to engaging in ro­mance scam from which he had benefited $1,200.

The statement which the defendant made at EFCC office, the fraudulent docu­ments printed from his device and a bank draft of N500,000 were all admitted as evidence, after no objection was raised by the defence counsel.