22 years old Internet fraudster bags 35 years jail term

Justice M. Abdulgafar of a Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin today convicted
and sentenced an internet fraudster, Ajayi Temitope Charles to 35 years in prison
without an option of fine.
A statement from EFCC says Charles was first arraigned by the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on March 13, 2019 for engaging in internet
fraud.
One of the five count charges against him reads: “That you, Ajayi Temitope Charles,
popularly known as Teresa Simons on or about the 27th of February, 2019, in Ilorin
within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, had in your
possession document, which you knew contained false pretence, and thereby,
committed an offence contrary to Section 6 and 8(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and
other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the
same Act.”
He had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, prompting the commencement of his
trial.
However, at the end of the trial, Justice Abdulgafar ruled that the EFCC proved its
case against him, “beyond reasonable doubts”.
The trial judge held that: “The evidence of PW1, Olamide Sadiq was left
unchallenged by the defendant, all the chats and text messages were printed from
his email address in his presence.
“I have considered the testimonies of the PW1, this honourable court is of the
opinion that the PW1 is a witness of truth, the Accused Person indeed was in
possession of fake documents, and the prosecution has sufficiently linked the
defendant to the email address.”
Delivering judgement, Justice Abdulgafar, further rejected as untrue, the testimony
of the convict where he claimed that the Police brought him to the office of the
EFCC on the day of his arrest following his inability to pay the money they requested
for.
“The story of the defendant being sent to the EFCC because he did not pay bribe to
the police could not hold water, he lied to the court, I do not believe the evidence of
the defendant, and the prosecution has proved this case beyond reasonable doubt,”
the trial judge said.
Thereafter, Justice Abdulgafar pronounced him guilty as charged.
Before sentencing, defence counsel, A.B. Bakare, in his allocutus, appealed for
mercy, and urged the court to temper justice with mercy, stressing that his client
was a first-time offender.
Counsel for the EFCC, Ola Sesan, however, opposed the request and urged the court
to sentence him according to the provisions of the law.
“Going by the provisions of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related
Offences Act, the minimum punishment for this type of offence is seven years and
maximum of 20 years, the court cannot use its discretion outside the same,” he
said.
Justice Abdulgafar, thereafter, sentenced him to seven years in prison on each of
the five counts. The sentence is to run concurrently.

No comments