From Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Justice Adenike Akinpelu of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, on Wednesday, convicted a student of Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, for “cheating by personation”.
Mohammed Bello, 23, who claimed to hail from Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State, allegedly posed as a White female with the intent to defraud unsuspecting victims
The defendant was prosecuted on a two-count charge by the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
On April 22, 2022, the EFCC while acting on credible intelligence arrested Bello alongside other suspected fraudsters at Agric Estate, Sango area of Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital.
The defendant did not only admit to committing the crime, but pleaded guilty to the charge upon arraignment in court.
Following his guilty plea, counsel to the EFCC Andrew Akoja reviewed the facts of the case through a witness who is an operative of the Commission, who tendered the extra-judicial statements of the defendant, one Apple iPhone Xr and fraudulent messages printed from his device, which were admitted in evidence.
Akoja urged the court to hold that the prosecution had established the necessary ingredients of the alleged crime against the defendant to warrant his conviction.
Justice Akinpelu, while relying on the evidence before the court, said that she was convinced that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and pronounced Bello guilty of the offence.
Consequently, the judge sentenced the defendant to six months imprisonment with N150,000 as option of fine on count one and six months imprisonment with N100,000 as option of fine on count two.
Additionally, Justice Akinpelu ordered the forfeiture of the apple iphone Xr, which was used to perpetrate the crime and the sum of $25 which the convict benefited from the unlawful activities to the federal government.