Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibadan Zonal Office, on Tuesday, secured the conviction of nine fraudsters.
Five among them were jailed by Justice Mohammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, Ogun, while the other four were convicted and sentenced by Justice Bayo Taiwo of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan.
Convicted by Justice Taiwo for conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretence are: Samuel Adekunle Adebayo, Bimbo Bilewu, Odunayo Ibrahim and Funmibi Samuel.
Adebayo, Bilewu and Ibrahim were arraigned on seven-count charges by the EFCC, following a petition filed by Prof Godwin Ekhaguere, alleging that the three men fraudulently obtained the sum of N601,500 (Six Hundred and One Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) from him, while Samuel was arraigned on one-count charge bordering on internet fraud of obtaining the sum of $1, 450 (One Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty United States Dollars) from one Shanice Tryon.
The trio pleaded not guilty to the charge, but changed to a guilty plea upon re-arraignment on Tuesday by the EFCC on two-count amended charges, prompting prosecution counsel, Sanusi Galadanchi, to pray the court for their conviction and sentence.
The judge pronounced them guilty and sentenced them to eight months imprisonment, respectively, or three months of community service.
He further ordered that if any of the convicts opted for the community service, but fails to appear or comes late on any day, the community service will be revoked and be replaced with the eight months prison sentence, effective from the day of absenting or lack of punctuality.
Though the three convicts have restituted the sum of N601,500 (Six Hundred and One Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) to the victim through the Federal Government, they also forfeited all items recovered from them to the government.
On his own part, Samuel, upon arraignment, pleaded guilty to the one-count charge, following which prosecution counsel, Lanre Abdulrasheed, urged the court to convict and sentence him.
Samuel was found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison with effect from Tuesday, June 23, 2020 or community service of three months.
He also restituted the sum of $1200 (One Thousand, Two Hundred United States Dollars) to his victim and forfeited all items recovered from him to the government.
In the same vein, Justice Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, found Adekunle Hammed Adejonwo, Michael Olanrewaju, Chima Emmanuel Nwahiri, Peter Fasuhanmi and Desmond Kenneth guilty of internet-related offences.
Nwahiri and Fasuhanmi were convicted and sentenced to five months in prison with N20, 000 option of fine, while Adejonwo and Olarenwaju earned four months jail term, each with N20, 000 option of fine.
Their jail terms take effect from March 12, 2020.
The fifth convict, Kenneth was sentenced to 11 months in prison with N20, 000 option of fine.
However, his term was backdated to August 27, 2019.
While the convicts forfeited all items recovered from them to the Federal Government, they also restituted sundry sums of money to their respective victims.
Chidi Okoli prosecuted the case.