A court in Kwara state has convicted Aderibigbe Sheu, a student of Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete.
Justice Muhammed Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin convicted and sentenced Sheu after he posed as a widow resident in the United States of America, USA, to defraud unsuspecting victims.
A statement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Head, Media and Publicity Wilson Uwujaren, on Thursday, said the commission's Ilorin Zonal Command secured the conviction on Wednesday.
Uwujaren said that Sheu, a native of Oshogbo, Osun State, was one of the 30 suspected internet fraudsters the anti-graft agency arrested in Malete, Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State on September 19, 2021, during a sting operation.
According to the statement, he was arraigned on Wednesday June 1, 2022, with one count charge of cybercrime and retention of proceeds of crime before Justice Sani and subsequently pleaded guilty to the charge.
He said that following his “guilty plea”, counsel to the commission, Rasheedat Alao, "reviewed the facts of the case and tendered the extra-judicial statements of the defendant including the phone, laptop and other incriminating materials printed from his devices, which were admitted in evidence.
"She urged the court to consider the plea of the defendant, his extra-judicial statements, and all the exhibits tendered to convict him as charged.
"In his judgment, Justice Sani having held that the court is satisfied with the evidence before it pronounced Aderibigbe guilty of the charge and sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment with option of N982,403 fine.
"The court also ordered that the iPhone 7+ and laptop, which were used to perpetrate the crime be forfeited to the Federal Government."
The EFCC spokesman further stated that Justice Sani had also on Thursday, June 2, 2022 convicted one Awoleye Bolaji, who claimed to be from Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State for internet fraud related offence.
Awoleye according to Uwujaren, had allegedly posed as one Karan Vanslack, an American lady, with intent to defraud unsuspecting victims in contravention of Section 22 (2) (b)(ii) of Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.
“Upon the guilty plea by the defendant, Counsel to the EFCC, Sesan Ola, reviewed the facts of the case and tendered one iPhone 6, the statements of the defendants and all the fraudulent messages printed from his device, which were admitted in evidence.
“Justice Sani sentenced the defendant to one year imprisonment with option of fine of N100,000 and ordered that the iPhone 6 which he used to perpetrate the crime be forfeited to the Federal Government.”