A 33-year-old herdsman based in Tanzania, Tunde Olagunju, and two others have been sentenced to various jail terms over love scam and cybercrime offences in Ilorin, Kwara state.
The two other convicts are Hassan Gafar Olarewaju, 29, and an Ilorin based bricklayer, Ojo Basit Adewale.
The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, September 20 arraigned the three on separate charges, to which they pleaded guilty.
Following the plea of guilt entered by the defendants, Aliyu Adebayo who prosecuted for the EFCC in the case against Tunde drew the attention of the court to the plea bargain agreement entered by the defendant while urging the court to convict and sentence the defendant based on his admittance of guilt and the evidence before it.
Similar scenario was what played out in the case against Hassan and Ojo, when Andrew Akoja who represented the Commission in the two cases asked the court to take judicial notice of the guilty plea and the plea bargain agreements entered by the defendants as well as the evidence tendered against them in sentencing them.
In his judgment on the cases on Monday, Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin said that he had carefully considered the facts and circumstances of the matter, most especially the charges, the plea of guilt entered by the defendants, evidence tendered without objection and the confessional statements of the defendants.
He said the defence had failed to neutralise the allegations brought against the defendants. Consequently, he held that there was no justiciable reason for the court to free the defendants off the hook. In the circumstance, the court found the defendants guilty of the offences
Justice Oyinloye sentenced Tunde to two years imprisonment with option of fine of N650,000 and ordered that the sum of $1,500 which he benefited from the crime as well as iphone used to perpetrate the crime be forfeited to the Federal Government.
Similarly, Ojo was sentenced to one year imprisonment on count one with option of fine of N250,000 and one year imprisonment on count two with option of fine of N250,000. According to the judge, the custodial sentences would run concurrently, ‘but if the convict prefers the option of fine, he shall pay the fine on both counts.’
The court also ordered the forfeiture of Ojo’s Silver colour Toyota Camry Car 2009 model with registration number LSR 431 GV, which he acquired with the proceed of unlawful activities, gold Iphone 12 pro and $200 which he benefited from the crime to the federal government.
In a similar fashion, Hassan was sentenced to one-year imprisonment with option of fine of N300,000. The convict would in addition, forfeit the Iphone XR recovered from him at the point of arrest to the Federal Government.