The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ilorin Zonal office, Thursday secured the conviction of Joseph Oyediran, one of the suspects indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, in the United States of America.
Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of a Kwara State High court sitting in Ilorin, convicted and sentenced Oyediran to one-year jail term, relying on all the documents tendered and evidence presented by the commission.
The anti-graft agency had earlier arraigned the convict on five-count charge pleading not guilty but later approached the commission for a plea bargain agreement.
Following the plea bargain agreement, the prosecution amended the charges.
Count one read; “That you Joseph Oyediran (alias Joe MG Graves) between April 2015 to June 2015, in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honorable court,did cheat by impersonation when you pretended to be one Joe MG, a white male with Gmail account email@example.com, and fraudulently deceived one Andrea Smith,an American citizen to send N2,392,105, after you made her believe you were in love with her and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 321 of the Penal code law and punishable under Section 324 of the same penal code.”
He pleaded guilty to one count amended charge.
Reviewing the facts of the case, the prosecution called the head of Advanced Fee Fraud section of the agency in Ilorin, Olamide Sadiq, who gave account of investigations carried out by his team in the matter.
Malam Said a principal detective superintendent told Justice Abdulgafar, “My Lord, on 24th July 2019, the commission received a petition from the FBI against the defendant, alleging that Oyediran was involved in business email compromise, romance scam and other fraud-related offences, based on Investigations, the suspect was arrested and confessed to the crime.
Delivering the judgement, Justice Abdulgafar said the testimonies of the prosecution witness, the pleas of the defendant and documents presented were enough to conclude that the prosecution was able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
“The convict is hereby sentenced to one-year imprisonment while his one plot of land located at Wara, behind Ilorin West LGA secretariat and the N800,000, recovered from him should be forfeited to the Federal government,” the judge ordered.