Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, sentenced one Alabi Okikiola to 12 months in prison after finding him guilty of fraudulent impersonation in a criminal charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibadan zonal office.
The judge also ordered that four other suspected internet fraudsters be remanded in prison pending the determination of their bail applications.
The accused – Falade Fisayo Abimbola, Arowojobe Femi Oluwaseun, Akinsipe Olalekan Gayus, and Ezekiel Rotimi Akinyele – were arraigned separately on different count charges bordering on obtaining money under false pretense, possession of fraudulent documents and money laundering.
They all pleaded not-guilty to their respective charges, prompting the prosecution counsel, Dr. Ben Ubi and Babatunde Sonoiki, to pray the court for trial date and order to remand them in prison custody.
The trial judge adjourned to October 24 and November 27, 2019, for hearing of bail application and trial of the case against Abimbola.
She also fixed October 22 and November 6, 2019, for argument on Oluwaseun’s bail application and his trial respectively. The court further adjourned to October 17 and 25, 2019, respectively for hearing of bail application and trial in Gayus’ matter, while slating Akinyele’s trial for October 18.
All the accused will remain in prison custody till their respective next adjourned dates.
While pronouncing Okikiola guilty of the one-count amended charge of criminal impersonation, Justice Ajoku held that the offence offended Section 22 (2)(b)(iv) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015, and punishable under Section 22 (3) of the same Act.
Apart from the one year imprisonment, the convict, who pleaded guilty to the offence, was to restitute the sum of N60,000 (Sixty Thousand Naira) being benefit he derived from his fraudulent act. He will also forfeit his laptop and charger, two Samsung hard drives, one iPhone 5 and one Nokia phone to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The jail term takes effect from May 14, 2019 when he was arrested.