Joseph Oyediran, one of the Nigerians on the wanted list of the American Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for wire-fraud, has been sentenced to one-year imprisonment for fraud.
Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of Kwara State High Court sentenced Oyediran to one-year imprisonment, having relied on the evidence presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Commission had arraigned the convict on a five-count charge, for which he pleaded not guilty but later approached the prosecution for a plea bargain.
Following the plea bargain agreement, the prosecution amended the charges.
Count one of the amended charges read: “That you, Joseph Oyediran (alias Joe M.G. Graves) between April 2015 to June 2015, in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did cheat by personation when you pretended to be one Joe M.G. Graves, a white male with Gmail account [email protected], and fraudulently deceived one Andrea Smith, an American citizen to send N2,392, 105.00 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 and punishable under Section 324of the same Penal Code.”
He pleaded guilty to the amended one-count charge.
While reviewing the facts of the case, the prosecution summoned the Head of Advance Fee Fraud Section of the EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Office, Olamide Sadiq as a witness, who gave an account of investigations carried out by his team in the matter.
Sadiq, a Principal Detective Superintendent, told Justice Abdulgafar that “my lord on the 24th of July 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 investigations, the suspect was arrested and he confessed to the crime.”
Delivering his judgment on Thursday, Justice Abdulgafar said the testimonies of the prosecution witness, the plea 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 Local Government Secretariat and the sum of N800,000 recovered from him should be forfeited to the Federal Government,” Justice Abdulgafar ruled.