A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, on Thursday, sentenced Joseph Oyediran, one of the suspects indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations(FBI) in the United States of America, to one year imprisonment.
Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar convicted Oyediran for internet fraud preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).
The commission had earlier arraigned Oyediran on five counts bordering on internet fraud to which he pleaded not guilty.
He however later reached a plea bargain agreement with the commission leading to the amendment of the charges by the prosecution.
The amended charge read: “That you, Joseph Oyediran, alias Joe MG Graves, between April 2015 and June 2015 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did cheat by impersonation when you pretended to be one Joe MG Graves, a white man with the Gmail account, [email protected] and fraudulently deceived one Andrea Smith, an American, to send N2,392,105.00 after you made her believe that you were in love with her, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 321 of the Penal Code and punishable under section 324 of the same Penal Code.”
He pleaded guilty to the amended one count charge.
While reviewing the facts of the case, the prosecution called the head of the Advance Fee Fraud section of the commission at the Ilorin zonal office, Olamide Sadiq, who gave details of the investigation carried out by his team.
Olamide, a Principal Detective Superintendent, told Justice Abdulgafar, “My Lord, on July 24, 2019, the commission received a petition from the Federal Bureau of Investigations against the defendant. The FBI alleged that Oyediran was involved in business email compromise, romance scam and other fraud-related offences. Based on investigation, the suspect was arrested and he confessed to the crime.”
Delivering judgment, Justice Abdulgafar said the testimonies of the prosecution witness, the plea of the defendant and documents presented were enough to conclude that the prosecution had been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
“The convict is hereby sentenced to one year imprisonment, while his one plot of land located at Wara, behind the Ilorin West local government Secretariat, and the sum of N800,000 recovered from him should be forfeited to the federal government,” Abdulgafar said.