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Newly-married man jailed for six months over internet fraud

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*EFCC secures jail terms for fraudsters in Lagos, Ogun, Osun

A newly wedded man, Azeez Bamidele, was, on Wednesday, sentenced to six months in prison by an Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos State for internet frauds.

Justice Mojisola Dada sentenced Bamidele after he had pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of fraudulent documents proffered against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Delivering judgment during the virtual proceeding, the judge said, “The defendant, having pleaded guilty, is convicted as charged. He is hereby sentenced to six-month imprisonment, starting from March 18, 2020 when he was first remanded by this court. He is, however, granted an option of a fine of N50,000 in lieu of his prison term.

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“The defendant shall, upon his release from custody, do a written undertaking to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC to be of good behaviour and not to be engaged in any criminal activities within or outside the shores of this country.”

The defence counsel, Babatunde Hamzat, in a plea, had earlier asked the court to temper justice with mercy based on the convict’s status as a newly married man. Hamzat told the court: “The defendant having pleaded guilty to the charge, I plead with the court to temper justice with mercy; he is a young man who just got married in December previous year.

“He was influenced by peer pressure and having been in custody since March this year, he has shown remorse and he is now penitent. We plead with the court to give him a fine, or if possible, community service.”

Meanwhile, the Ibadan zonal office of the EFCC has secured the conviction of 17 internet fraudsters in Abeokuta, Ogun State, and three in Osogbo, Osun State.

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The convicts, sentenced on Wednesday to varying degrees of jail terms by Justices Mohammed Abubakar and Ibrahim Watilat of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, are Olofuntuyi Ayofemi Ishola, Maja Toheeb, Laleye Olaoluwa, Janta Oluwafolabomi, Ashaba Franklin Unuagbon, Daniel Stephen Temitope, Yusuf Ayuba, Malojuekun Oluwatobi and Aladejobi Adeshola.

Others include Faniyi Jamiu Olalekan, Adegbamigbe Oluwabiyi Emmanuel, Oni Temidayo Victor, Ejiro Daniel, Kushimo Toheed, Olamilekan Adedeji, Adebanjo Olamide and Ikegbunam Chukwuemeka Chidebube.

The convicts are to forfeit all items recovered from them to the Federal Government, and also restitute sundry sums of money to their respective victims. The EFCC was represented in the matter by its legal team that comprised Oluwatinuwe Daramola, Babatunde Sonoiki, Oyelakin Oyediran and Ifeanyi Agwu.

In the same vein, Justices Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel and Peter Lifu of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, convicted and sentenced Emmanuel Tolulope, Al-Ameen Olaitan Adesayo and Omotayo Oyeleke to prison terms for internet-related offences.

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