The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Command has said it has secured the conviction of a 26-year-old forex trader, Kolawole Temidayo Joshua from Igosun in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State and two others over offences bordering on internet fraud.
The other two suspects are; Abdullahi Isiak from Bode Saadu in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State and one Daniel Roland Orji.
Prior to his arrest, Kolawole, who claimed to be a footballer, said he was also into selling football kits and other menial jobs such as selling dogs. He confessed in his extra-judicial statement that he was also into internet fraud and had benefited huge sums of money from the illegal business.
The trio of Kolawole, Abdullahi and Daniel were arraigned on Monday, October 10, 2023, on separate charges of one count each before Justice Mahmoud Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High sitting in Ilorin.
However, the charge against Kolawole read: “That Kolawole Temidayo Joshua, sometime between April and May 2023 at Ilorin within the Judicial Division of the High Court, did cheat by personation when he pretended to be one Mia Phillips vide your Google Voice account: email@example.com and induced one Daniel Murphy a.k.a Wagba Wealth and Danny, to part with gross sum of $400 (Four Hundred US Dollars) through Gift Cards and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 321 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 324 of the Penal Code.”
Abdullahi’s charge read: “That, Abdullahi Isiak, sometime in 2020, in Ilorin, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, did attempt to cheat by personation when he pretended to be a white female via Google voice account linked to email address: Francis@gmail.com, which he used to communicate with one Sandra Williams who resides in the United States of America in order to induce her to part with property and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 95 of the Penal Code Law and punishable under Section 324 of the same law.”
Particulars of the charge against Daniel read: “That, Daniel Roland Orji, sometime November 2022 in Ilorin with the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, did cheat by personation when he pretended to be Eric Benson a resident of United States of America with a Gmail account firstname.lastname@example.org and fraudulently deceived one Sophia Linklater to send $250.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars) with impression that you were in a relationship with him and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 321 of the Penal Code punishment under Section 324 of the same Penal Code.”
The defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges, prompting the court to adjourn for judgment.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 counsels who represented the EFCC in the prosecution of the cases, Muinat Bello and Isabel Adeniran while reviewing the facts of the cases narrated the circumstances that led to the arrest of the defendants.
The counsels also tendered exhibits including phones, extrajudicial statements and money which they brought as restitutions by the defendants, which were admitted in evidence. Thereafter, they urged the court to admit that the prosecution had proved the essential ingredients of the crime to warrant the conviction of the defendants.
Justice Abdulgafar in his judgement found the defendants guilty and convicted them as charged.
The judge sentenced Kolawole to 6 months imprisonment with the option of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira Only) and ordered that one iPhone 12 and the sum of $200 (Two Hundred United States Dollars) be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The court also sentenced Abdullahi to six months imprisonment, which is to be suspended and ordered that his iPhone 12 Promax used as an instrument of crime be forfeited to the Federal Government.
Justice Abdulgafar, equally sentenced Daniel to six months imprisonment with an option of N150,000 while his iPhone 6 and the sum of $250 (Two Hundred and Fifty United States Dollars) were forfeited to the Federal Government.