BY ONYEKA AJUMOBI ONOCHIE
Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of Kwara State High Court, Ilorin on Thursday, August 7, convicted and sentenced the duo of Akinola Opeyemi and Owolabi Olajide to three months of community service for internet fraud.
They are to sweep the Physics Department of the University of Ilorin and the premises of Saint Anthony Secondary School, Ilorin for three months or pay N50,000 option of fine each.
The convicts were prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Office, on separate one-count charge of cheating and impersonation to which they pleaded guilty.
An operative of the Commission, Olarewaju Lamidi, who reviewed the fact of the case disclosed that trouble started for the convicts when in March 2020, the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Commission placed some areas of the city on surveillance, following intelligence on the activities of internet fraudsters in the municipality, and arrested the defendants and others as a result.
Analysis of iPhones and laptops recovered from the convicts, yielded fraudulent email addresses and messages, which they confessed to be theirs.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Oyinloye said, “I have carefully considered the evidence before the court, the exhibits tendered and the uncontroverted testimony of the prosecution witness. This Honourable Court holds that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, and consequently, the defendants are hereby convicted as charged.”
In sentencing them to community service, the judge directed the Head of Physics Department, University of Ilorin and the Principal, Saint Anthony Secondary to issue an assessment letter on the convicts’ compliance with the judgment to the Chief registrar of the Kwara State High Court, at the completion of their community service. Poor level of compliance, the judge stated, would earn the convicts a direct six months imprisonment. The case was prosecuted by Nnaemeka Omewa.