The Lagos Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday secured the conviction and sentencing of the trio of Raheem Sodiq Morenikeji, Adetunji Stephen Ademola and Okpala Samuel for internet fraud before Justice S.O. Solebo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
The convicts were arrested sometime in May 2021 at the Sangotedo, Alagbado and Meiran areas of Lagos State, respectively.
Raheem was charged with an amended count in which he was accused of defrauding his victim through deception to the tune of $2,000 and another N54, 000 as a picker.
Under interrogation, he admitted to have purchased a Toyota Camry 2013 model in the name of his mother, which was recovered from him. An iPhone 7x was also recovered from him.
On his part, Ademola who was also charged with an amended one-count charge, following a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution, was accused of posing online as “Tina Moore” and “Jessica”, to defraud his victims to the tune of $2,000.
Upon arrest, an iPhone 11 Pro Max was recovered from him.
Okpala, who also approached the EFCC for a plea bargain, was charged with a one-count amended charge in which he was accused of posing on Facebook as Jane Michelle Gregor living in Texas, through which he professed love to one Roberto, who was actually living in Minnesota, United States.
He lured Roberto into a romantic relationship and was able to receive $600 from him purportedly for feeding and payment for school fees. An iPhone 11 and bontel phone were recovered from him upon arrest.
They all “pleaded guilty” to the charges, and also pleaded with the Court to temper justice with mercy.
Subsequently, Justice Solebo found the defendants guilty as charged and sentenced them to one year in prison.
While Raheem was given an option of N500,000 fine, Ademola got N1million option of fine, and Okpala was given an option of N400,000 fine.
In addition, they are all to sign a bond with the EFCC upon their release to be of good behaviour and not to engage in any form of economic and financial crime.
Raheem and Ademola were also ordered to serve 500 hours of community service, while Okpala got 400 hours.
They were also ordered to forfeit to the Federal Government all the items recovered from them.