By Soni Daniel
Justice Adenike Akinpelu of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin on Thursday, convicted a lecturer of the Kwara State College of Health Technology, Offa, Abdullahi Opashola and twin-brothers – Taiye and Kehinde Adebayo over offences bordering on personation and internet fraud.
Opashola and the twins were prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on separate charges to which they pleaded guilty.
While Opashola was prosecuted on one count, Taiye and Kehinde answered to seven counts each.
The charge against Opashola reads:
“That you, Opashola Abdullahi, (alias Devin Snow), sometime in the month of August 2020 in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did attempt to cheat by personation, by portraying yourself as a female named Devine Snow via your email address email@example.com to one Eugene Myvett in order to induce him to send you $200 USD, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 95 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 324 of the same Law”
Particulars of count six of the charge against Taiye reads: “That you, Taiye Adebayo, sometime in January, 2020, at Ilorin, within the judicial division of the Kwara State High Court, did cheat one Gary Brenton who you met on TWOO dating site, of the sum of $490 (Four Hundred and Ninety Dollars) received vide gift cards when you pretended to be female and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 322 of the same Penal Code.”
For Kehinde, count seven of the charge reads: “That you, Kehinde Adebayo, sometime in January, 2020 at Ilorin, within the judicial division of the Kwara State High Court, did cheat one Gary Brenton who you met on TWOO dating site, of the sum of $410 (Four Hundred and Ten Dollars) received vide gift cards when you pretended to be female and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 322 of the same Penal Code.”
Following the ‘guilty plea’ entered by the defendants, counsel to the EFCC, Andrew Akoja, led Paul Kera and Emezie Dominic in evidence to review the facts of the case against Opashola and the twins, respectively. Documents were tendered and admitted in evidence following which the court adjourned for judgment.
Delivering judgment on the two cases today, Justice Akinpelu found Opashola guilty of the charge against him and sentenced him to four months imprisonment. The 26-year old lecturer was however given an option of fine of N150,000.
For Taiye and Kehinde, Justice Akinpelu also pronounced each of them guilty of the charge and sentenced them to six months imprisonment on each of the counts against them, which is to run concurrently.
The judge however have the twin-brothers option of fine of N50,000 on each of the counts.
While ordering that the laptops and phones used by the convicts to commit the crime be forfeited to the Federal Government, the judge said the sentences would serve as deterrent to others.