Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, on Monday, July 5, 2021, sentenced a Lagos-based 20-year-old boy, Oke Gideon, to 30days imprisonment having found him guilty of offenses bordering on romance scam and internet fraud.
The long arm of the law caught up with Gideon on May 4, 2021, when he was arrested by operatives of the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, following intelligence reports on his nefarious activities.
Upon arrest, he was profiled and volunteered statements, admitting to committing the crime. In his confessional statement dated May 6, 2021, Gideon admitted that he engaged in a dating scam, love scams, and other internet fraud-related offenses.
The boy was consequently arraigned in court on Friday, July 2, 2021, on two counts, to which he pleaded guilty.
Count one of the charge reads.
“That you, Oke Gideon (Jenna Cherry) between August 2020 and September 2020 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
With intent to defraud, did obtain $150 (One Hundred and Fifty Dollars) worth gift from one Bradley Miller under false pretense that you are Jenna Cherry, a white female from Las Vegas,
The United States of America, which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offense punishable under Section 1 (3) of Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud-related Offences Act, 2006.”
Following his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Susan Ola, led one Sarah Audu, an operative of the Commission, to review the facts of the case.
Audio narrated how Gideon was arrested based on actionable intelligence on the activities of internet fraudsters operating within the Ilorin metropolis. She tendered the confessional statements of the convict as well as fraudulent messages printed from his email, which were all admitted in evidence.
In his judgment on the matter today, Justice Abdulgafar convicted and sentenced Gideon based on his confessional statement, his plea to the charge, and the exhibits tendered against him before the court.
However, the Judge gave the convict an option of a fine of N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira) and ordered that his iPhone 6 and HP laptop which were used as instruments in the crime be forfeited to the Federal Government.